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Bangladesh, Russia seal lifetime fuel supply deal

  • Published at 12:47 pm August 6th, 2019
Web-Rooppur-Russia-Mahmud-Hossain-Opu
BAEC Chairman Mahbubul Haque and the Russian firm’s commercial director, Fedor Sokolov, sign an agreement on behalf of their respective countries, in the presence of Science and Technology Minister Yeafesh Osman on Tuesday, August 6, 2019 Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

RNPP will come into operation by 2022

Nearly one and a half months after an approval from the Cabinet Committee on Public Purchase, the government has signed an agreement with Russia for the lifetime supply of uranium to the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant (RNPP) project. 

Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC), which is tasked with implementing the project, has sealed the contract with the Russian state-owned nuclear fuel firm TVEL Joint Stock Company at a Dhaka hotel on Tuesday.

BAEC Chairman Mahbubul Haque and the Russian firm’s commercial director, Fedor Sokolov, signed the agreement on behalf of their respective countries, in the presence of Science and Technology Minister Yeafesh Osman. 

RNPP Project Director, Dr Shawkat Akbar, said: “It is a framework agreement focusing on pricing methodology. Through this agreement, both the countries will work to determine the prices of the nuclear fuel, considering the volatile global market which is marked by continuous changes,” he said.

However, when asked, Dr Akbar declined to disclose how much fuel will be supplied to the country’s maiden nuclear power plant at Rooppur, under Ishwardi upazila in Pabna.

According to the Inter-governmental Agreement (IGA) signed with the Russian Federation in November 2011, Bangladesh is required to procure nuclear fuel from the Russian company for the entire life span of the power plant.

The RNPP project duration is believed to be 50 years.

With 1200 MW power generation capacity, each unit of the power plant will have to reload one-third of the total required nuclear fuel in every 18 months, and the first, second and third reload will be provided by the Russian firm free of cost. 

Each reloading of nuclear fuel will cost $62 million, equivalent to tk 500.24 crore.

Last January, Dhaka and Moscow inked an agreement on nuclear fuel supply. 

The Bangladesh government has engaged Russian nuclear energy firm Rosatom as contractor of the RNPP project, at a cost of $12.65 billion. 

Besides, the officials said Rosatom has been paid $550 million for a feasibility study and design of the project. 

Initially, it was projected by the contractor that the first unit of the RNPP will come into operation by 2022, while the second unit by 2024.

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