NEW DELHI: Indian companies can now participate in construction and installation works in the "non-critical" category for the Rooppur nuclear power plant in Bangladesh, Russian atomic energy agency Rosatom said today.
The Rooppur project is the first initiative under an Indo-Russian deal to undertake atomic energy projects in third world countries.
This will also be the first time Indian companies will be able to participate in a nuclear power project abroad.
India is not a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and hence cannot participate directly in construction of atomic power reactors.
According to Rosatom, India, Bangladesh and Russia today signed an agreement to allow Indian firms in construction and installation works in the "non-critical" category for the Rooppur nuclear power plant project in northwest Bangladesh.
The Memorandum of Understanding, signed in Moscow, sets a framework for interaction of Russian contractor, and Indian and Bangladeshi experts in the implementation of works related to the project.
The parties, in particular, will cooperate in personnel training, exchange of experience and consulting support.
Russia is constructing two nuclear reactors with a capacity of 1,200 MW each in Rooppur, which will be Bangaladesh's first nuclear power project.
"Indian companies can be involved in construction and installation works, the supply of materials and equipment of non-critical category in the interest of the project," Rosatom said in a statement.
On the Indian side, the memorandum was signed by Pankaj Saran, the Indian ambassador to Russia.
Nikolay Spassky, Rosatom's deputy director general for international relations, and S M Saiful Hoque, Bangladesh's ambassador to Moscow, signed the pact for their countries respectively.
India has a nuclear cooperation agreement with Russia and Bangladesh.
The Russian side is building a nuclear power plant in Bangladesh on a "turnkey" basis, which means the contractor will complete the whole project and they will be liable for any problems that arise in the plant.
The scope of work includes design, production and supply of equipment, construction, installation, start-up and commissioning.
"Today was a landmark event for the countries and the industry as a whole. We are confident that this is the first step toward the formation of a new, forward-looking cooperation agenda in the region," Spassky said.