N-plant funding deal cut

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Tuesday were witness to signing of six Memorandum of Understandings and three deals that include the financing of a nuclear power plant.
The power plant set to be installed at Rooppur in the northern Bangladesh is expected to generate 1000MW power daily.

The signing ceremony followed a meeting between Hasina and Putin at Kremlin.

Deputy Finance Minister of Russia Sergey Storchak and Economic Relations Division (ERD) Secretary Abul Kalam Azad signed the agreement on the Extension of State Export Credit for Financing the Preparatory Stage Work of Nuclear Power Plant in Rooppur in Pabna and another one on Extension of a State Export Credit to the Bangladesh government.

The agreement entitles Bangladesh to Tk 0.5 billion loan from Russia for research and developing technical abilities for the power plant. The money will be spent in two years.

The government plans to make use of Russia’s third generation technology for setting up the power plant with five-layered security arrangements.

The plant is designed to have two units. Each of the units has been estimated to cost from Tk 1.5 billion to 2 billion.

Bangladesh signed a contract with Russia’s State Atomic Energy Commission Rosatom in November last year for assistance in the project.

The Russian government will provide fuel for the plant under the agreement that also requires the country to take back used fuel.

The plant is expected to be in operation for 60 years which, according to the State Minister for Science and Technology Yeafesh Osman, may be extended for 20 more years.

Osman and General Director of Rosatom SV Kirienko penned the deal on Establishment of a Nuclear Industry Information Center in Bangladesh.

The third deal will be in effect for exchanging information relating to atomic energy between the countries.

Both Hasina and Putin in a joint statement hoped the deals and MoUs would take relations between Moscow and Dhaka to a new height.

Hasina reached Russia on a three-day visit on Monday.

This is the first official visit of a Bangladesh Prime Minister to Moscow since Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s visit of the erstwhile Soviet Union in April 1972 immediately after Bangladesh became independent.

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni, Osman, Ambassador-At-Large Mohammad Ziauddin and the Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary M Wahiduzzaman are accompanying Hasina.

“I assured him (Putin) that Bangladesh will remain committed to its friendly relationship with Russia,” Hasina said.

“I want to take the relationship between the two countries to a new height.”

Hasina expected the deals would propel the socioeconomic growth of her country.

The MoUs were signed on agriculture, public health, medical science sectors, and over strengthening counterterrorism activities.

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni and her Russian counterpart Segey Lavrov inked the MoU on cooperation on counterterrorism.

Another MoU was signed on Terms and Conditions of a State Export Credit on Financing the Construction of Nuclear Power Plant.

Source: Bdnews24

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