Russia's State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom is keen to ensure maximum participation of Bangladeshi companies in Rooppur nuclear power plant project.
“We are interested in maximum involvement of Bangladeshi suppliers and/or contractors in the Rooppur project,” said Alexander Khazin, senior vice-president for international projects of АSE Group of Companies, an engineering division of Rosatom.
He made the comments in an email interview with The Daily Star recently.
ASE Group held two workshops -- one in Dhaka and another in Moscow. Nine potential Bangladeshi construction companies attended the workshops.
“During the meetings, we presented our roadmap for the bidding procedure for the Rooppur plant, which included general construction as well as more extensive work for preparing of working documents,” Khazin said.
“Following the meetings, we found three companies, with their own engineering centres and experience of interaction with the design institutions, who could be our prospective partners in cooperation.”
ASE Group also organised a visit for the managers and owners of the companies to Novovoronezh nuclear power plant in Russia to make them understand the scale of the work.
“I would like to reiterate that the range of opportunities for Bangladeshi companies is huge. We are ready to cooperate with construction and installation companies, integrated service providers and other relevant companies of Bangladesh,” Khazin said.
He said the group is focusing on designing and construction of general facilities and systems for various purposes like repair workshops, administrative and other buildings.
“We are interested in maximum possible response from the local market.”
Special attention will be paid to the compliance, during the scrutiny of potential contractors, according to Khazin.
“This is to make sure that the companies concerned are financially stable and have required project resources, professional staff and equipment.”
The Russian firm would prefer a small group of large and reliable contractors with whom it could forge a strategic cooperation in the future and work together at each stage of building the nuclear power plant.
“These may be large companies with experience of building similar industrial facilities in Bangladesh and in other countries. There is enough work for everyone,” said Khazin.
The company will continue to organise workshops in Dhaka and Moscow so that local companies can reach out the firm.
ASE Group plans to launch a website with information on procurement in Bangladesh. Pouring concrete into the foundation slab of the reactor compartment of the Unit 1 of the Rooppur power plant will be held soon, marking the beginning of the country's first nuclear power plant.
It takes about five years to build a reactor compartment, according to Khazin.
About nine months after the first concrete ceremony, work will begin to pour concrete into the foundation slab of the turbine island, which accommodates the main power generation equipment of the power plant.
Russia is building the plant and also providing a credit of $12 billion for the 2,400-megawatt project. The first unit is expected to go into production in 2022 and the second one in 2023.