Bangladesh is all set to move a step closer to become the 33rd nuclear power-generating country when construction starts on the main phase of the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant – seven years after the framework agreement was signed with Russia.According to reports, the plant at Rooppur is expected to add 2,400MW of electricity to the national power grid by 2024 and help the country meet increasing demands for electricity. It will also create around 12,000 new jobs, with 4,500 of those being for Russian specialists.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the Rooppur nuclear power plant by placing the first concrete block. Construction work started in Rooppur, 160 km from Dhaka, where two 1,200 MW power plants are being built with help from Russia. The first of Rooppur's two units will be commissioned in 2023, followed by the second a year later.
The government set its priorities on the safest and secure measures, to set up the country's first nuclear plant in Bangladesh, said Yafes Osman, minister of science and technology, adding that the plant brings pride for the nation.
Bangladesh signed the contract with Russia on December 25, 2015, for the construction and commissioning of the plant in Rooppur. Science and Technology Ministry Secretary Md Anwar Hossain told Dhaka Tribune, “We expect to complete the work of the project’s main phase on time. We are also optimistic about kicking off power generation from the plant’s first unit by 2023.”The Rooppur plant project director, Mohammad Shawkat Akbar said that an agreement between Bangladesh and India has been signed to ensure peaceful use of nuclear energy. Additionally, India’s Department of Atomic Energy will provide training services to the Bangladeshi personnel for supervision of design, construction, commissioning, quality assurance, operation and other related activities of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant Project.