Friday, 21 January, 2022

Carrying Equipment to Rooppur Nuke Plant

Mongla-Pakshi river dredging cost to rise by Tk 3.34bn

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 7 December, 2021 12:00 AM
  • Print news

The project cost to carry out dredging in the 460km Mogla-Pakshi water route to help carry imported heavy equipment to Rooppur nuclear power plant is shooting up by Tk 3.34 billion to Tk 12.90 billion.

A proposal of the shipping ministry for the cost hike is likely to get the nod at a meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) slated to be held on Tuesday, Planning Commission sources said.

After the first project revision, the project cost will shoot up to Tk 12.90 billion from Tk 9.56 billion when the project started in July 2017.

Project officials informed that the project is being revised mainly because of the inclusion of new components in the project and approval for the increased cost.  Despite the cost hike, the project completion period will remain unchanged in June 2025.

The first unit of the under-construction nuclear power plant with 1,200MW power generation capacity is expected to come into operation by 2023.  

The dredging is being carried out to facilitate the entry of ships with a five-metre draft so that heavy machinery imported from Russia can be shipped to the project site via Mongla-Chandpur-Goalanda-Pakshi river route.

A new decision has been taken to conduct necessary dredging from both Chattogram and Mongla seaports to Pakshi.

As part of the decision, navigability will be enhanced in Ganga, Padma, Baleshwar and Kocha rivers along the Chandpur-Mawa-Goalanda river route.

However, dredging work will be done in only 60 to 65km route to ensure navigability.

 Sources at BIWTA, the project’s implementing agency, informed that the reasons for cost hike include an increase in manpower, installing new equipment like lighting buoy to facilitate water vessels plying, increasing the number of equipment, foreign travel and training and installing of eco sounder and GPS system and buying office furniture and motorcycles.

The decision of buying cabin cruiser instead of speed boat under the scheme, increasing volume of maintenance dredging, raising number of computers, increasing cost and number of office equipment and compensation for crop is contributing to cost hike as well.

The initiative has been taken to develop an overall transport system surrounding the nuke power plant.

A new rail line will be constructed from Ishwardi bypass take off point to the nuclear power plant site at Rooppur, Pakshi under Pabna district.

The nuke power plant project is the most expensive scheme in the country’s history. It is being implemented at a cost of Tk 1,130.93 billion, a large portion of which is coming from Russia as a project loan.  Under the river route improvement scheme, 93.10 lakh cubic metre dredging will be carried out.

For ever-changing character of Padma River’s riverbed, the cost of dredging per cubic metre Padma riverbed has been fixed at Tk 250, official sources said. Instead of regular buoy, lighting buoy will be installed there to demarcate the river route.