Russia and Bangladesh have initialed the construction contract for the Ruppur Nuclear Power Plant in the South Asian country.
Rosatom, Russia's state nuclear corporation, said the contract was initialed during an official visit to Dhaka by a Russian delegation.
In the course of the visit, Rosatom deputy CEO Nikolai Spassky held negotiations with Bangladesh's Science and Technology Minister Yeafesh Osman. They agreed that Bangladesh would expedite documents for contracts on the preparatory phase.
Contracts have now been signed to conduct surveys and planning for the plant. The construction contract is the third and it calls for setting up an engineering base at the NPP site and arranging for construction and installation work to the 'first concrete.'
Spassky was quoted as saying that "work of the preparatory period is now being done, which is scheduled for completion in 2016. After this, work will begin on the main phase of construction, which according to practice takes five to six years. This is the standard work schedule. The Russian side plans to launch the Ruppur NPP in the early 2020s in line with the previously planned schedule."
He also said that a representative of Rosatom subsidiary Atomstroyexport (ASE) has been in Bangladesh since last October to handle business issues, and a representative of Rosatom began working at the Russian embassy in Dhaka in April. ASE plans to open an office at Ruppur NPP, which is located on the eastern bank of the Ganges River, 160 km from the capital of Dhaka, in 2014.
Valery Limarenko, the head of NIAEP-ASE, another Rosatom division, told reporters at the beginning of April that the third contract on the Ruppur NPP was expected to be signed in May. "Negotiations are now being held on the third contract - for building the construction engineering base," he said.
"We expect that in the next few months the contract will be signed and processed accordingly in our Finance Ministry in order to open a credit line," Limarenko said.
It was reported earlier that Russia has decided to extend a soft loan of $500 million to Bangladesh. Russia might also decide in 2015 to extend a new soft loan to the country. Such a plant with capacity of more than 2,000 MW could cost about $10 billion.
Rosatom began work on the Ruppur plant in Bangladesh in the fall of 2013. Russia will design, built and launch two 1,000-MW generating units with VVER reactors at Ruppur, as well as build infrastructure.
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