Bangladesh PM seeks expansion of nuclear energy cooperation with Russia

ROSATOM, Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant, RNPP, Alexey Likhachev, Russia

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh has expressed her desire for further collaboration with Russia in the field of nuclear energy, urging the Russian state-run ROSATOM to consider establishing an additional nuclear power plant at Rooppur. This request was made during a meeting with ROSATOM Director General Alexey Likhachev at her official residence, Ganabhaban.

During the meeting, Prime Minister Hasina highlighted the importance of conducting a technical survey to assess the feasibility of constructing new nuclear plants at the Rooppur site once the ongoing project is completed. She emphasized the need for comprehensive planning and adherence to all necessary formalities in this regard.

Acknowledging the significance of the existing cooperation between Bangladesh and Russia, Prime Minister Hasina expressed gratitude for Russia’s role in enhancing energy security, particularly through the construction of the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant (RNPP). She noted that the establishment of a nuclear power plant in Bangladesh had been a vision of the country’s founding leader, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and expressed appreciation for Russia’s support in realizing this goal.

ROSATOM Director General Alexey Likhachev met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her official residence

Recalling Russia’s assistance during Bangladesh’s War of Liberation in 1971 and its subsequent contributions to the country’s reconstruction efforts, Prime Minister Hasina highlighted the strong historical ties between the two nations. She also extended her congratulations to Russian President Vladimir Putin on his reelection.

Alexey Likhachev briefed Prime Minister Hasina on the progress of the RNPP, indicating that it is expected to commence production by 2025 and significantly contribute to the national electricity grid. He assured the Prime Minister of Russia’s commitment to the safe and timely return of the spent nuclear fuel from the RNPP’s first and second units to the Russian Federation, in accordance with the inter-state agreement signed between the two governments.

Furthermore, Likhachev proposed the construction of two new nuclear power units (Unit-3 and Unit-4) within the RNPP area, suggesting that the expansion of existing projects is financially and technically advantageous. He emphasized the expertise gained by the workforce, comprised of both Bangladeshi and Russian personnel, involved in the RNPP construction.

In response to concerns regarding the impact of the pandemic and sanctions on the project timeline, both parties expressed satisfaction with the progress made thus far and affirmed their commitment to overcoming any obstacles.

The meeting was attended by high-ranking officials including Science and Technology Minister Architect Yeafesh Osman, PM’s Principal Secretary M Tofazzel Hossain Miah, and Science and Technology Secretary Md. Ali Hossain.

As construction of the two units at the RNPP nears completion, with a combined capacity of 2400 MW, Bangladesh anticipates the commencement of commercial power generation from Unit-1 and Unit-2 in 2025 and 2026 respectively, marking a significant milestone in the country’s energy sector development.


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