Dhaka signs $12.65b deal with Moscow
Bangladesh on Friday signed a $12.65 billion contract with a Russian public company to construct Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant in Pabna that would generate 2,400 megawatts of electricity.
Engr Monirul Islam, chairman of Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission, and Vladimir Savushkin, senior vice president of Atomstroyexport, a subsidiary of the Russian state-run nuclear power company Rosatom, inked the contract at a city hotel.
Of the contract amount, $11.39 billion would come from a Russian line of credit, and the rest from the Bangladesh government.
This is the country's biggest ever contract, equivalent to Tk 1,01,200 crore, which is more than its total development budget for this fiscal year.
Speaking at the programme, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said the government would take all precautionary measures to make sure that there was no hazard to public safety.
The plant's nuclear waste will be taken back by Russia for safety, he added.
UNB reports: Russian ambassador to Bangladesh Alexander A Nikolaev said the signing of the deal was symbolically significant, but it is a big challenge for the two sides.
“I am pretty sure that the obligation which was taken by both the sides to generate power from the nuclear power plant in Rooppur is the key for vision-2021,” he added.
Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury, Science and Technology Minister Yeafesh Osman, prime minister's Economic Affairs Adviser Mashiur Rahman, Energy Affairs Adviser Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury and State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam, among others, were present.
Earlier this month, the government entered into the initial financial contract with Russia for the project. The final deal is likely to be inked early next year.
Nuclear plants require high costs upfront. But their power tariff is quite cheap as their fuel costs are comparatively low and they have a long life.
The economic life of the two-unit plant has been estimated at 50 years. However, Rosatom said the plant would last for 60 years, three times higher than the coal- and gas-fired plants.
The provisional takeover of the plant's first unit is expected in October, 2023, and the second one in October, 2024. The final takeover would be in October, 2024, and October, 2025.