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Pakistan Inaugurates Fifth Nuclear Power Plant

FILE: Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi
FILE: Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi

Pakistan's prime minister has inaugurated the country's fifth nuclear power plant, built with Chinese assistance and part of Islamabad's plans to fast-track such projects in the energy-starved country.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said on September 8 that the 340-megawatt Chashma-IV reactor and similar projects were of "the highest priority of our government" and vowed that power projects of 10,000 megawatts would be completed by June 2018.

The facility, 250 kilometers southwest of the capital, Islamabad, is the fourth built as part of a joint effort between the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission and China National Nuclear Corp.

Chashma already has three nuclear power plants in operation, and the country has a similar plant in Karachi.

Pakistan is building two more nuclear plants in Karachi as the country looks to battle chronic energy shortages.

Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who was ousted after corruption charges last month, had vowed to solve the country's energy crisis by 2018.

China has been increasing investment in Pakistan, including a $46 billion project to link its far-western Xinjiang region to Pakistan's Gwadar port with a series of infrastructure, power, and transport upgrades.

Based on reporting by AFP, The Hindu, Dawn, and Gulf News

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