MOSCOW, January 15 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will allocate a $500 million loan to Bangladesh to finance the first phases of a joint project to build the country’s first nuclear power plant (NPP), Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday.
“We will not only provide up-to-date technologies…but will also render financial assistance at the initial stage of the NPP construction by issuing a $500 million loan,” Putin said after talks with Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
The head of Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom Sergei Kiriyenko said the loan will cover only four initial construction contracts, with more expenditures to follow.
“Five hundred million is the value of the four initial contracts. Based on the results of this work, the precise total value of the whole project will be established,” he said.
Kiriyenko said that by the time the first stage of the project is complete, Moscow and Dhaka will prepare another loan agreement, according to which the project’s total cost of at least $1.5 billion will be financed partially by Bangladesh’s own funds and partially by another loan from Moscow.
He also said that preparatory works at the designated site near the town of Roopur in northwestern Bangladesh will begin on January 1, 2014 and the construction itself will begin in 2015 and will take about five years. The station is scheduled to be launched no earlier than in 2020.
The project envisages the construction of two power units, each with a capacity of 1,000 mW.
The Rosatom chief did not specify the exact value of the contract, saying that according to global prices, “a 1,000 mW NPP unit costs about $5 million.”
“But we’ll charge less because of competitive advantages,” Kiriyenko said.
"We proposed the most up-to-date and safe project to Bangladesh; we will build a station of the so-called post-Fukushima type,” the Russian nuclear chief went on, referring to the 2010 reactor meltdown at the Fukushima NPP in Japan, triggered by a powerful earthquake and a tsunami.
The Russian official said the station would be able to withstand a powerful seismological event.
The personnel of the station will be trained at Russian universities.
The deal is part of an array of agreements signed during Putin’s talks with Hasina in Moscow on Tuesday, including a deal between Gazprom International, a subsidiary of Russia’s gas giant Gazprom, and Banagladesh’s oil and gas corporation PetroBangla, to drill ten gas wells in the country. The agreement will increase Bangladesh’s gas production to 56 million cubic meters per day.
So far Russian specialists have partook in building about 20 percent of all electricity-producing facilities in the country. Russian companies are currently involved in a $17.7 million project to modernize Gorazal, the largest thermal power plant in Bangladesh.