The National Committee formed to monitor the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant Project has asked the Economic Relations Division (ERD) to complete the Inter Governmental Credit Agreement (IGCA) with Russia as the government wants quick implementation of the project.The directive came from the 4th meeting of the National Committee held recently with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
Sources close to the meeting told UNB that the IGCA is likely to be signed with Russia in April next clearing the path for utilising the credit in January 2017, as the general contract on the project was signed in December last year.
While reviewing the implementation progress of the project (1st phase), the meeting was informed that out of the four contracts with the contractor of Russian Federation, cent percent field works for the first two contracts — the 1st on feasibility study, environmental impact assessment, site engineering survey — and other studies have been completed.
The major part of the first phase project works have been completed as all the works under the first phase are supposed to be completed by December next.
The meeting directed the Finance Ministry to take necessary steps for providing $ 100 million to Atomostroyexport as advance as per its special demand before the start of credit utilisation for issuing work order for the Long Term Manufacturing Equipment (LTME) during the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2016.
Regarding security and physical protection system for the mega project, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has suggested forming a composite unit for ensuring the security of the plant in consultation with the Russian side since there is a binding for following the guidelines of the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA).
For transporting heavy machinery and goods during implementation of the project, meeting sources said the Prime Minister also suggested that there is no need for any dedicated road for the project rather the existing railway bridges could be strengthened alongside dredging of the related river routes.
The meeting was also informed that BTCL has been working to set up communication system for the project as deposit work.
Regarding exemption of tax and VAT for the project equipments and machineries, NBR chairman in the meeting informed that dedicated office for the project would be ensured for smooth handling of the project related equipments and machineries since those are sophisticated.
The meeting was informed that the 1st unit of the plant having power generation capacity of 1200 MW would undergo provisional takeover on October 19, 2023 while the final takeover on October 13, 2024.
The 2nd unit of the plant having same power generation capacity would undergo provisional takeover on October 22, 2024 while for final takeover on October 17, 2025.
The economic life of the plant was said to be 50 years while the plant would be able to remain shut down safely with own power for 24 hours in case of plant blackout.
According to the sources, Sheikh Hasina asked the authorities concerned to complete the work on the nuclear plant within the stipulated time.
Earlier on December 25 last year, the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC) and Russian company JSC Atomstroyexport signed a general contract for the construction of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant (NPP).
Atomostroyexport, the contractor appointed by Russia’s state-owned atomic power body, Rosatom will construct the NPP at a cost of $12.65 billion.