Russian ship returning without offloading Rooppur equipment
The progress of the country's first nuclear power plant suffered a setback as the Russian ship carrying equipment for Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant is now heading back to Russia instead of offloading at West Bengal's Haldia Port, as it was supposed to do.
"The Russian embassy in Dhaka has informed that the ship is moving back to Russia without being able to offload at Haldia Port," a foreign ministry official told The Daily Star today.
Russian flag carrier URSA MAJOR was supposed to reach Mongla Port for the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant on December 24. However, the US embassy in Dhaka informed Bangladesh on December 20 that the vessel carrying the goods was not URSA MAJOR, but Sparta 3, which faces US sanctions.
After confirming the matter, Bangladesh authorities refused to let the ship anchor at Mongla Port. The Department of Shipping then told the local shipping agent for Sparta 3 that it would help the ship offload the materials at Haldia Port in Kolkata and then bring the equipment to Rooppur by waterway or road.Officials could not say why Sparta 3 could not offload the equipment at Haldia Port.
"Perhaps the agent could not negotiate with Haldia Port authorities or there was pressure from the US side on India," a foreign ministry official said.The official said this incident would definitely impact the work of the project being implemented by the Russian Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation.