Rosatom rules out delays at Rooppur power plant

Rosatom, the contractor for the Rooppur nuclear power plant, dismissed the notion of potential delays in the construction of the project amid Russia’s war against Ukraine, even if some Russian banks could be excluded from the SWIFT messaging system .

“There is no interruption in any of the commitments and work schedules in the construction of the Rooppur nuclear power station,” the national atomic energy company said in a statement yesterday.

In retaliation for the Russian military operation in Ukraine, the EU, US, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Britain recently agreed to ensure that some Russian banks are withdrawn from SWIFT in order to impair their ability to operate globally.

When contacted, a managing director of a private bank said any sanctions imposed by Western countries would create complexities in handling business between Bangladesh and Russia.

However, an official from the Economic Relations Division said there was no possibility that the implementation of the power plant would remain stalled as the funds are being disbursed in Russia, where the Russian contractors get their bill from.

In 2015, Rosatom and the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission signed a general contract for the construction of the plant, consisting of two electric units with a capacity of 1,200 megawatts each.

The plant is expected to be operational from 2023, months ahead of the planned 2024 deadline, project manager Shaukat Akbar said in the last quarter of 2021.

Originally, the first unit of the nuclear power plant was to open by 2024 and the second unit by 2025.

The cost of the project is set at Tk 113,092 crore. Russia is providing Tk 91,040 crore as a loan while the rest is funded by the government of Bangladesh.

The implementation rate of the project is around 44%, while Tk 47,609 crore or 42.10% of the cost was spent in January 2022.

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