The government has asked the state-run Power Grid Company of Bangladesh (PGCB) to complete the transmission line by December 2022 for timely completion of the country’s lone nuke power plant at Rooppur.
Any delay in constructing the line from Rooppur to Baghabari grid might defer implementation of the 2400MW Rooppur Nuclear Power Project in Pabna district, the government also warned PGCB.The directive came up at an inter-ministerial meeting held at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Novo Theatre last month, chaired by science and technology minister Architect Yeafesh Osman.
The PGCB is implementing the grid line to ensure back feed power for implementing the Rooppur power plant.
The science and technology minister Architect Yeafesh Osman has already expressed his concerned to the daily sun over the delay of the grid line.
“If the grid line is delayed then the implementation of the power project will also be delayed,” he pointed out.
According to sources, the state-owned PGCB took the transmission projects for Rooppur to facilitate power transmission from the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant (RNPP) with financial support from the Indian Line of Credit (LoC).
Dhaka signed a USD$1.06-billion loan deal with New Delhi in 2017 over the financing of these projects, with the target of implementing them by 2022 as the 1,200 MW first unit of the Rooppur NPP is expected to start commercial production from the first half of 2023.Now, the implementation of the unit rescheduled in February, 2024.
The inter-ministerial meeting also asked to the PGCB to complete five transmission lines by February, 2023 to facilitate the Rooppur power as reschedule time frame.
The five transmission projects are: 464km 400kV transmission lines including 13-km river crossing, 205km 230kV transmission lines including 7-km river crossing, 400kv five bay extensions, 230kv four bay extensions and qualitative upgradation of the Bangladesh power system for frequency control and frequency drop protection, protection system, emergency control system and other associated tasks.
Sources said the 464km 400kv transmission line project has been divided into four segments for smooth implementation: the 102km Rooppur-Bogra line, 144km Rooppur-Gopalganj line, 147km Rooppur-Dhaka line and 51km Aminbazar-Kaliakoir line.
Work on the 13km river crossing has been divided into two segments: the 6km Padma River crossing line and 7km Jamuna River crossing line.
Similarly, the 230kv transmission line project was divided into three packages: the 60km Rooppur-Baghabari line, 145km Rooppur-Dhamrai line, and 7km Jamuna River crossing line.
The Commercial Operation Date (COD) of Rooppur Nuclear plant may be delayed by 4-6 months as the Nuclear Power Plant Company Bangladesh Ltd has rescheduled the implementation roadmap due to the disruption caused by the corona pandemic as well as delay in implementing the grid line, sources said.
Now, the unit-1 is expected to commence provisional takeover or pre-commercial operation on February 17, 2024, from previously scheduled October 2023. The unit-1 of the plant will commence operations in February 2025, official sources confirmed.
Besides, the work of loading uranium fuel into the first reactor will begin on February 21, 2023, as per the new schedule. It will be on October 8, 2023, for unit-2.
The start of test and checking equipment for unit-1 will begin on January 19, 2022, reliable sources said after attending at a review meeting chaired by Science and Technology Minister Architect Yeafesh Osman.