A contract signed by NIAEP-AtomStroyExport of Russia with the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission will pave the way for preparations prior to the construction of Bangladesh's first nuclear power plant.
Russia has already agreed to provide a $500 million loan to finance the construction of a two-unit power plant at Rooppur. According to NIAEP, the newly signed contract will facilitate the preparation of documentation related to investment in construction and the environmental impact assessment for the plant, as well as providing for necessary engineering and environmental studies.
The contract was signed during the international Atomexpo 2013 forum in St Petersburg by NIAEP president Valery Limarenko and Abu Sayed Mohammad Firoz of the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission.
Limarenko said that the signing of the latest contract signalled a transition to a long-term cooperation. It is to be followed by further contracts covering the preparatory period, on project development and the implementation of priority construction works.
Firoz, describing nuclear power as a "long-standing dream" for Bangladesh, said the latest contract was of great importance and would lead to "tangible results" for his country.
Earlier this year, Rosatom head Sergei Kiryenko indicated that preparatory work could begin at the Rooppur site in 2014 prior to a 2015 construction start, if contracts for on-site surveys were signed during the first quarter of 2013 and contracts for feasibility studies, detailed design and engineering design and preparatory site works signed by the end of the year.
NIAEP-AtomStroyExport was established in March 2012, bringing together power plant designer Nizhny Novgorod Atomenergoproekt with AtomStroyExport, the Russian state company responsible for overseas construction of nuclear power plants.