Rooppur power plant will meet the demand for electricity, will be profitable Rooppur Nuclear Project
File photo/Wikimedia Commons/SM Najmus Sakib Under construction Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant

Rooppur power plant will meet the demand for electricity, will be profitable

Bangladesh Live News | @banglalivenews | 21 May 2022, 01:58 pm

Own Correspondent, Dhaka, May 21: Work on the country's first nuclear power plant is underway at Rooppur in Pabna's Ishwardi. Work is underway to get the first unit here into production by 2023. Concerned parties hope it will meet the country's electricity demand, and on the one hand, it will give the government more than double the internal return.

According to the relevant sources, the project with the capacity to generate 2400 MW of electricity will cost 12 billion USD or Tk one lakh 13 thousand crore. About 90 percent is Russia's debt, the remaining 10 percent will be spent by the Bangladesh government.

When it goes into production, Bangladesh will have to repay 565 million or 56.5 crore USD to Russia every year. Seeing such a large amount, some people call it a 'white elephant project'. But government officials have denied the allegations, saying it was not a white elephant project but a development milestone.

"Rooppur is not a white elephant, it can be called an elephant of nation building or an elephant of development or an elephant to change the destiny of the common man. How long will fossil fuel last? Burning gas or oil on the one hand is damaging the climate and on the other hand there is a risk of how long it will last. For these reasons we have had to build the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant project," an official said.

Officials in the Ministry of Science and Technology said the project will pay an annual installment (56 crore USD) after the two reactors are commissioned. Subsidies will not be required if the installment money is recovered from the return of the project.

Regarding the Rooppur nuclear power project, State Minister for Planning Dr. Shamsul Alam said that the return from Rooppur nuclear power plant would be 9.5 percent annually. The interest on project loan will not be more than one to two percent. This means that Bangladesh will benefit a lot from this project. So how did it become a 'white elephant'? I don't understand why or how people call it that. The annual return interest rate on the project is much lower. We will not be in any danger with this project. I will be able to repay the loan year after year. The internal return is more than double. I am taking the loan for 28 years. I will have time for 38 years with grace period. We can afford it. Moreover, there is no alternative to Rooppur for clean electricity.