Sunday, 5 December, 2021

Govt to seek commitment fees waiver from Russia for NPP

Bangladesh will seek waiver in commitment fees on Russian loans taken for implementing country’s maiden nuclear power plant project at Rooppur, official sources said.

The government will seek the waiver as per the undisbursed amount of the credit under Force Majure amid COVID-19.

The Economic Relations Division (ERD) will make a proposal before the Russian counterpart in this regard, sources said. 

The finance ministry of the Russian Federation has allocated $1600 million in the current year with the condition of 0.5 per cent of commitment fees as per the IGCA credit deal with Bangladesh for implementing the power project.

Bangladesh has so far spent $454.04 million out of the fund disbursed for the project in 2020.

The foundation stone of the Tk 1130.92 billion fast-track power plant was laid in October 2013 and construction started on 1,062 acres of land in November 2017 after singing inter-governmental credit agreement (IGCA) in July 2016.

ERD may seek rescheduling of the credit allocated for the current year to the Russian finance ministry as COVID-19 crisis slowed down the progress of the project in the current year, sources said.          

According to sources, Nuclear Power Plant Company Bangladesh Limited is implementing 74 installations and infrastructures including reactor building, reactor auxiliary buildings, turbine buildings, normal and power supply buildings for unit-1 and unit-2 for setting up the Rooppur nuclear power project.

The contractor has so far completed over 34.43 meters of the inner containment structure, over 8.35 meters of the outer wall, over 11.3 meters of reactor cavity wall and over 3.55 meters of adjacent structure wall for unit-1 of the power plant.

Besides, reactor auxiliary building construction work also progressed over 4.75 meters.

The construction work of the unit-2 is also progressing.

Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant will consist of two power units equipped with two VVER reactors, the life cycle of which is 60 years with an option to extend the service life for another 20 years. The power capacity of each unit will be 1200 MW.

A third-generation technology is being used to construct the plant with a five-layer security system. With the first nuclear power plant at Rooppur, Bangladesh will become the third Asian country -- after India and Pakistan -- to harness the power of atoms.

In 2017, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the construction of the main concrete structure for the nuclear furnace, with the construction beginning in July of the following year.