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Bangladesh starts construction of first n-power plant

Published: 02nd October 2013 05:29 PM  |   Last Updated: 02nd October 2013 05:29 PM   |  A+A-

By IANS

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the construction work of the country's first nuclear power plant on Wednesday.

The Bangladesh government had floated a $265-million tender for the plant's design and a Russian firm won the bid, Xinhua reported.

Officials said construction of the plant's core structure would start after the finalisation of the design.

"We've asked Russia to attach utmost priority to safety issue," Hasina said after laying the foundation stone of the first phase of work for the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant in the country's Pabna district, 216 km west of the capital Dhaka.

Sergey Kirilenko, director general of State Atomic Energy Corporation or ROSATOM of Russia, was present at the ceremony.

Hasina said Bangladesh has followed safety guidelines of the International Atomic Energy Association.

During her Moscow visit earlier this year, Hasina signed a $500 million "credit deal" with Russia for the primary work to install two 1,000 MW units of the power plant.

Electricity-starved Bangladesh in November 2011 signed an inter-governmental deal with Russia for construction of the plant.

Hasina's ruling Bangladesh Awami League party said the nuclear power plant was part of the government's vision to produce 20,000 MW of power by 2021.

Yeafesh Osman, Bangladesh's state minister for science and information and communication technology, earlier said the plant would be built to withstand 10-magnitude earthquakes.

The plant will reportedly cost about $1.5-2 billion and the project is expected to be completed by 2017-18 under the primary plan.

The state-run Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission prepared the action plan for executing the project to meet the growing demand for electricity in the country.

Inadequate natural gas supplies and lack of diverse power sources have left the South Asian country with a large gap between electricity supply and demand, estimated reportedly at about 1,500 MW a day in recent years.

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