Second N-power project on track
BAEC starts feasibility study at four sites
Published : Sunday, 10 February, 2019 at 12:00 AM Count : 852
The Ministry of Science and Technology is on the track to install the country's second nuclear power project.
Although it is the beginning of such a mammoth project and subject to the approval by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Science and Technology Ministry has already earmarked 15 char areas suitable for the project.
Science and Technology Minister Yeafesh Osman on Saturday told the Daily Observer, "We have already earmarked 15 char areas for pre-feasibility study and for primary data collection, of which 4 areas are apparently better."
He said, "This time we will select areas where water is available."
The Minister said, "We are set to meet 10 per cent of our energy demand from nuclear power to ensure power mix plan. The idea is at still very premature stage."
A committee comprising members from Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC), Power Grid Company of Bangladesh Limited and the Public Works Department has completed some of the initial preparation of the project, said the Minister.
BAEC has begun a feasibility study on the second nuclear power plant at Gangamati in Patuakhali, Mazher Char in Barguna, Boyar Char in Noakhali and Muhurir Char in Feni.
"Gangamati, close to Kuakata beach, might be the right area so far. The IAEA is the final authority to say everything in this regard," a senior official of the Science and Technology Ministry said.
They said Gangamati was prioritized over three other primarily selected sites - Mazher Char in Barguna, Boyar Char in Noakhali and Muhurir Char in Feni - following the government's plan to develop Patuakhali as a modern coastal belt by establishing a deep sea port and a naval base there.
Earlier, the BAEC selected eight sites, four are in Khulna, close to the Sundarbans, and the other four are at Mazher Char in Barguna, Gangamati in Patuakhali, Boyar Char in Noakhali and Muhurir Char in Feni.
Once the site is finalised and an elaborate feasibility study is conducted, the power generation capacity of the nuclear plant will be fixed, the official said.
Bangladesh signed a general contract with Russia for the construction and commissioning of the country's first nuclear power plant at Rooppur in Pabna at the cost of $12.65 billion.
The BAEC, under the Ministry of Science and Technology is in charge of implementing this project as well. Bangladesh expects to add 2,400MW of electricity to the national grid by 2023 from Rooppur Power Plant.
The commission has invited Japan Atomic Energy Agency to explore the possibility of building the proposed nuclear power plant with the capacity of 2,000MW in the southern region.
China's Dongfang Electric Corporation has expressed interest in building the second power plant, said commission officials.
Bangladesh also signed two intergovernmental and inter-agency agreements with India, according to which, India's Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership (GCNEP) will provide training and consulting services for the implementation of the Rooppur NPP Project.
"India will join the project as a subcontractor. In the near future, Indian construction companies will take part in tenders for construction and installation works.
At the same time, the Indian party can provide consulting support and share experience with the Bangladesh specialists within the Rooppur NPP Project
Indian companies will participate in construction and installation work, supply of non-critical materials and equipment for the project," he was quoted as saying in a statement.