Bangladesh and Russia have reportedly agreed to invest $12.65 billion in a project to build two 1200 MWe nuclear power units at Rooppur. According to Reuters, the agreement was signed on 25 December by Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC) and Russia's Rosatom.

Kamrul Islam Bhyian, spokesman for Bangladesh's Ministry of Science and Technology, told the news agency that Russia will finance up to 90% of the total cost of the project as credit with an interest rate of Libor plus 1.75%. Bhyian added that Bangladesh will pay off the loan within 28 years with a 10-year grace period.

Work is expected to start at Rooppur early next year. The first unit is to start operations by 2022 and the second by 2023. Rosatom will maintain the plant for the first year of its commercial operation before handing over to the Bangladesh authorities, and will bear fuel costs for the first year of operation, according to the report.

The Ministry of Science and Technology's Anwar Hossain said earlier this month that Bangladesh plans to "build a nuclear city" in Rooppur using Russian reactors designed with 'post-Fukushima' safety features. Those features include a passive safety system that can work for 72 hours in any critical or emergency situation as well as a reactor with a 60-year operating life with the option to extend this by 20 years, said Hossain, who headed a delegation on a technical tour of Russia's Novovoronezh nuclear power plant on 1-3 December.

The foundation stone was laid at the Rooppur site in October 2013 after Russia and Bangladesh signed an initial contract on the construction of the country's first nuclear power plant. The contract signed by NIAEP-ASE president Valery Limarenko and BAEC chairman Abu Sayed Mohammed Firoz is a technical agreement covering the design stage of the project, which is expected to take about two years to complete and will form the basis for obtaining the necessary licences and starting construction of the plant.

Rooppur's two reactors will be based on a modified version of the NPP-2006 VVER (pressurized water reactor), designed exclusively for the site on the eastern bank of the river Ganges 160 km from Dhaka. Russia agreed to build the Rooppur plant in an intergovernmental agreement signed in 2011, and agreed to provide $500 million to finance preparatory work including engineering surveys, and is to provide future loans to finance the actual construction project.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News

Date: Tuesday, 29 December 2015
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Bangladesh,-Russia-ink-$12-65-billion-Rooppur-plan