Dhaka, Moscow discuss $11.385bn Russian credit for Rooppur NPP

Dhaka, Moscow discuss $11.385bn Russian credit for Rooppur NPP

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Dhaka – Dhaka and Moscow have concluded negotiations for $11.385 billion Russian credit for Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant (RNPP).A high-powered delegation, headed by Science and Technology Minister Yaefesh Osman which visited the Moscow last week, held the negotiations during two-day talks on May 18-19.
Prime Minister’s Economic Affairs Advisor Dr Masihur Rahman, Chairman of the Board of Investment SA Samad, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Abul Kalam Azad and top officials of economic relations division (ERD) were also in the delegation.
“We’ve successfully concluded the negotiation for the credit agreement and we hope the final credit deal will be signed within two months after necessary vetting from different ministries,” Additional Secretary to the Science and Technology Ministry M Anwar Hossain told UNB on Tuesday.
Anwar, who was also member of the delegation, informed that after conclusion of the negotiation, the both sides initiated a draft agreement on the proposed credit. “Now, the draft agreement will be sent to different ministries for vetting in both the countries,” he added.
Officials said the proposed credit amount of $11.385 billion is 90 percent of the $12.65 billion (equivalent to Tk 101,200 crore) construction cost of RNPP, which Russian Federation will provide as state credit to implement the project. It will also be the single largest foreign loan in the history of Bangladesh.
Official sources said the general agreement (GA) that Dhaka signed with Moscow in December 25 last year to build a 2400 MW nuclear power plant (having two units each with 1200 MW capacity) in Rooppur in northern district of Pabna will be effective soon after signing of the credit agreement.
Russian state nuclear agency Rosatom will build the plant of which first unit will come into operation in 2022 and the second one in 2023.
“So, credit agreement has been one of the most important deals relating to the project,” said another official at the MST.
During the general agreement, it was agreed by both Dhaka and Moscow that Russia will provide the loan with an interest rate of six months Libor plus 1.75% per annum, but it will never cross over 4 percent. Bangladesh will pay off the loan within 28 years with a 10-year grace period.
The plant construction cost will get exemption from paying value added tax (VAT) and other customs duties. But now, the officials said, the two sides will sit together to set the details of the terms and condition of the credit facilities and its repayment.
After signing of the credit agreement, officials hope the main construction work will start at Rooppur early next year. After construction, 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.
Rosatom will use VVER 1200 nuclear reactor technology which its officials said will have a passive safety system that can work for 72 hours in any critical or emergency situation.
Bangladesh had already spent $551 million for preparatory work including engineering surveys of the site and designing the reactors.

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