The first shipment of Russian uranium was officially delivered Thursday to Bangladesh to fuel the nation’s only nuclear power plant, currently under construction.
The uranium has been in Bangladesh since late last month but was officially handed over to Bangladesh authorities in a ceremony attended via video link by Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.
Construction of the plant, called Rooppur, has been carried out by Rosatom, Russia’s state nuclear energy corporation, and funded by Moscow. Bangladesh received an $11.38 billion loan from Russia for the project, to be paid back over two decades beginning in 2027. The loan financed 90% of the construction.
Rooppur is the first of two plants set to be constructed in Bangladesh with the help of Rosatom.
Once completed, Bangladesh will become the 33rd country in the world to produce nuclear power.
Upon completion, Rooppur is set to produce 2,400 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 15 million homes, and according to Putin, it will be responsible for 10% of Bangladesh’s energy consumption.
Russia is currently facing sanctions and other obstacles because of its invasion of Ukraine.
However, Sergey Lavrov, who became the first Russian foreign minister to visit Bangladesh since its 1971 independence, assured the South Asian nation that the project would be completed on time.
The traditionally good relationship between Bangladesh and Russia has not been weakened since the invasion of Ukraine, and the two countries have signed several agreements to work together to establish a nuclear power industry in Bangladesh.
Some information for this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.