Bangladesh and Nuclear Power: Significance for India

01 Jun, 2018    ·   5476

Tarika Rastogi argues that Bangladesh' Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant (RNPP) has the potential to re-energise India-Russia cooperation and significantly enhance India's geopolitical clout and standing in the nuclear community.


The Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant (RNPP) in Bangladesh has the potential to re-energise India-Russia cooperation and significantly enhance India's geopolitical clout and standing in the nuclear community.

The RNPP (whose construction began in 2013) will be Bangladesh's first and is being constructed by Rosatom (State Atomic Energy Corporation, Russia). It is the first atomic energy project in a third country under an India-Russia deal where Indian companies train the workforce while Russia builds the reactor. The RNPP involves two units, each with a capacity of 1200MW. Built on a turnkey basis, Rosatom will manage the entire project and will be liable for any complications that arise in the plant. The estimated cost of the project is US$12.65 billion; of which, the Russian government will provide 90 per cent of the cost on 1.75 per cent interest. The Bangladeshi government would arrange the remaining 10 per cent. The loan will be settled 28 years after the plant becomes operational, and, if required, a grace period of an additional 10 years period would be provided.

For India, this is important for a variety of reasons, foremost of which would be the exposure to international project management. This involves being closely associated with all stages of construction, albeit on an observer basis to ensure knowledge of construction and then acting as an interface between the Russian engineers and the Bangladeshi operators. This is an important role of understanding, translating and transmitting information, the lack of which can result in severe cost overruns

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