Civil-nuclear cooperation: French govt says option can be explored at request

Financing: $300m is the amount France has committed to hydropower projects in Pakistan. PHOTO: FILE

Financing: $300m is the amount France has committed to hydropower projects in Pakistan. PHOTO: FILE

THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE, ISLAMABAD, 03rd OCTOBER 2013: French Ambassador Philippe Thiebaud has said his country is ready to consider Pakistan’s request for civil nuclear cooperation keeping in view international safeguards.

However, “we have not received any formal request from Islamabad to enhance cooperation in producing nuclear electricity.” Pakistan is working with China in the area of civil nuclear power, the ambassador said while talking to the media here on Wednesday at the first roadshow tilted “World of energy efficiency for a better Pakistan,” organised by Schneider Electric.

“It depends on Pakistan whether it takes any such decision and my country is ready to consider the request for enhancing civil nuclear cooperation in line with international obligations,” he reiterated.

The French envoy, while inaugurating the roadshow, praised Schneider Electric for introducing electricity efficiency products in Pakistan, as power conservation was more viable than increasing electricity production.

Schneider Electric is a France-based multinational corporation that specialises in electricity distribution, automation management and produces installation components for energy management.

The roadshow held under the umbrella campaign ‘Experience Efficiency’ showcased the complete energy solution portfolio of the company for all electricity consumers ranging from small domestic users to large power houses.

Responding to a question about French help to Pakistan in constructing Diamer Bhasha Dam, he said Paris was already providing assistance in setting up hydropower projects, mainly smaller ones such as Jabban hydropower project in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Jagran project of over 100-megawatt capacity and Munda Dam, a comparatively bigger project.

However, he added France had not yet provided any assistance for Diamer Bhasha Dam. France was part of a consortium of development partners in a project to save up to 1,000 megawatts of electricity along with donors such as the Asian Development Bank, World Bank, Germany and others, he said.

France has committed around $300 million of financing to hydropower projects as Pakistan is facing an energy crisis.

Schneider Electric Country President for UAE, Oman and Pakistan Benoit Dubarle stressed that the roadshow would offer a platform to identify new opportunities.

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