Rooppur power plant: Production set to be deferred

The first unit of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant is not going to generate electricity in December next year.Prothom Alo

The first unit of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant will not start generating electricity in December next year. The state minister for power, energy and mineral resources Nasrul Hamid said the power generation may start at the end of 2024.

The state minister said this to journalists while visiting the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant on Thursday.

The work has been delayed due to the outbreak of coronavirus, he said adding the installation of power transmission line has also delayed.

The state minister, however, said the overall progress is satisfactory and the work of the first unit is completed by 87 per cent.

Earlier, contractor firm Atomstroyexport vice president Alexey Deriy presented a keynote paper on the progress of Rooppur power plant.

In the paper, it is said German company Siemens AG refused to supply machineries for the sub station of Rooppur. Against this backdrop, the contractor firm has recommended measures to tackle the delay of the production of the first unit.    

A source has confirmed Siemens made the refusal due to the US sanctions.

While inaugurating the nuclear reactor of the second unit of Rooppur power plant in October, state minister for science and technology Yeafesh Osman said the first unit will go into production by next year.

Rooppur project implementation agency Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission scientist and project director Md Shaikat Akbar said measures have been taken to finish the work of first unit by the middle of 2024.

When asked whether the Russia-Ukraine war is causing the delay, the state minister for power said all the work will be completed properly. The work is progressing in coordination between the power division and the science and technology ministry.

Russian contractor firm Atomstroyexport is constructing two units of 1200 MW at a cost of Tk 1140 billion. The project is scheduled to be completed by June 2025.