China and Pakistan inked a $4.8 billion deal on Tuesday to construct a 1,200-megawatt nuclear power plant, according to media reports.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif made the announcement, stating that work on the Chashma 5 project would commence immediately. Reuters reported Sharif's remarks on state-run news channel PTV, which came after the signing of the memorandum of understanding between China National Nuclear Cooperation and Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission.
Sharif emphasized that China's investment of $4.8 billion in this project sends a clear message that Pakistan is a trusted destination for Chinese companies and investors. The Chashma 5 project will be built in the central province of Punjab and will assist Pakistan in transitioning away from fossil fuels.
Pakistan's total nuclear energy production capacity reached 1,400 MW after the opening of the sixth nuclear power plant in the southern port city of Karachi two years ago. The 1,100 MW plant was also constructed with assistance from China, as stated in the Reuters report.
China and Pakistan have been strengthening their cooperation in the energy sector. In February, the inauguration ceremony for the K-3 Hualong No.1 nuclear power unit took place in Pakistan. This marked the first official delivery of China's self-built third-generation nuclear power technology to a foreign country. The K-2 and K-3 Hualong No.1 nuclear power units in Karachi form the largest nuclear power plant in the country.