Signing of IGA with Russia on N-power plants today
The government will sign an inter-governmental agreement (IGA) with Russia today (Wednesday) for construction of two nuclear power plants with a capacity of 1,000 megawatts (mw) each at Rooppur in Pabna.
“All is now set for signing the IGA with Russia in Dhaka to construct the country’s first nuclear power plant,” State Minister for Science and Information & Communication Technology Yeafesh Osman told the FE Tuesday.
Under the proposed IGA, Bangladesh will initially construct one 1,000 mw nuclear power plant with Russian assistance, said Mr. Osman.
There will also be provision for building another 1,000 mw nuclear power plant under the IGA, he said.
Director General of Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation (Rosatom) Sergey Kirienko will sign the IGA on behalf of Russia, while Yeafesh Osman will sign the deal for Bangladesh.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will attend the IGA signing ceremony, to be held at her office in the morning.
“We are going to sign the IGA with Russia to move forward as per plan building the nuclear power plants,” the minister said.
The work on installation of the first plant will begin in 2012 as per plan, he added.
Construction of the nuclear power plants will help ensure availability of electricity at affordable cost.
The government has planned to build the Rooppur nuclear power plant as part of its mega plan to generate 20,000 mw of electricity by 2021, said the state minister.
Bangladesh’s overall electricity generation is now hovering around 5,000 mw against the demand for over 6,500 mw.
“The government wants to complete construction of at least one 1,000 mw nuclear power plant by 2018,” Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission Chairman ASM Firoz said.
It might cost around US$ 1.5-$2.0 billion to build the power plant, he said.
Bangladesh has planned to build the nuclear power plants utilising the latest available technology ensuring safety and security as the topmost priority, he said.
Earlier on February 24 last, Bangladesh and Russia initiated an agreement to install the nuclear power plant at Rooppur in Pabna, some 200 kilometers off Dhaka city.
Bangladesh also signed a five-year framework agreement with Russia in May 2010 followed by a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in 2009 for building the Rooppur nuclear power plant.
Local scientists also visited Russia several times and saw nuclear power plants to gather ideas about those.
Under the already agreed negotiation, Rosatom will supply necessary fuel for the reactors during its life-term and take back spent fuel.
Russia will also manage nuclear waste and help decommissioning of the nuclear power plant in future, under the deal.
Science and ICT Ministry of Bangladesh will act as the Competent Authority of the government, while BAEC will work as the customer of the proposed nuclear power plant project.
For Russia, Rosatom will act as the Competent Authority to implement the project.
Bangladesh and Russia have also agreed to set up a joint coordinating committee.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) allowed Bangladesh to install nuclear power plants in 2007.
Country’s unprecedented electricity supply crunch has prompted Bangladesh to undertake installation of its first nuclear power plant reviving around half-a-century old Rooppur nuclear power plant project.
The plan to construct the Rooppur nuclear power plant project was initiated by erstwhile Pakistan government in 1961.
Some 105.30 hectares of land were subsequently acquired for the project site and 12.15 hectares for the residential colony.
The then executive committee of the National Economic Council also had approved the project having three different capacities – 70 MW in 1963, 140 MW in 1966, and 200 MW in 1969.
But after the emergence of Bangladesh in 1971 there has been no headway in setting up of nuclear of power plant at Rooppur until the previous caretaker government moved afresh in 2007.