Bangladesh begins work on first nuclear plant, plans 2017 start

DHAKA Wed Oct 2, 2013 9:52pm IST

DHAKA (Reuters) - Energy-poor Bangladesh began construction of its first nuclear power plant on Wednesday, announcing plans to complete the first of two Russia-backed, 1,000-megawatt reactors by June 2017.

The $2 billion project calls for up to $500 million in credit financed by Russia and a second reactor to be completed in 2022.

Russia's Rosatom will build, operate, provide fuel for the plant and process its spent fuel in Russia.

The project is part of an export drive backed by Russian President Vladimir Putin that includes state-run nuclear conglomerate Rosatom building first plants for Iran and Turkey.

Spanning all facets of the industry, from uranium mining to fuel enrichment and recycling and grid development, Rosatom is involved in 28 of the 68 nuclear reactors currently under construction worldwide, IAEA and Rosatom data show.

Bangladesh has struggled to meet daily power demand of more than 5,000 MW, and demand is rising by more than 7 percent per year. Heavily reliant on natural gas for power generation, the country's own gas production falls short of consumption levels, necessitating imports.

In addition to the nuclear project, the government announced earlier this year that Chinese companies would build a trio of power stations with a combined capacity of 1,000 MW to help ease the country's nagging shortages.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated ground work at the Rooppur Molecular Project Field nuclear project in Pabna, 161 kilometres (100 miles) north of Dhaka.

She said Bangladeshi officials had visited the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna and would ensure the project complied with all IAEA safety and security rules.

Bangladesh and Russia signed a memorandum of understanding and framework agreement in November 2011 and a follow-up pact this January.

The reactors are to operate for 60 years with options to extend by another 20 years.

(Reporting by Serajul Quadir; editing by Jason Neely)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

INDIA-U.S. TIES

TOP SHOWCASE

Gaza Violence

Gaza Violence

Gaza fighting abates as diplomatic tension flares.  Full Article 

Adani's Coal Project

Adani's Coal Project

Australia approves Adani's $16 bln Carmichael coal project.  Full Article 

MH17 Probe

MH17 Probe

Fighting complicates Ukraine crash probe, U.S., EU prepare Russia sanctions.  Full Article 

Photo

Ukraine Crisis

Russia says Lavrov, Kerry agree on need for swift ceasefire in Ukraine.  Full Article 

Ferry Disaster

Ferry Disaster

Associate of dead S.Korea ferry boss arrested, children due to give evidence.  Full Article 

Cook is Back

Cook is Back

Captain Cook rides his luck to silence the critics.  Full Article 

Formula One

Formula One

Ricciardo wins dramatic Hungarian GP.  Full Article 

Comic Con

Comic Con

From virtual reality to stars, five highlights from Comic-Con.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage