The government has decided to buy more than 1 lakh kilogram of uranium for use as fuel in the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant every 18 months from 2027.
Each shipment of uranium, purchased from a Russian firm, will cost the government Tk523.9 crore.
The Cabinet Committee on Public Purchase on Wednesday approved the proposal made by the Ministry of Science and Technology, at a meeting presided over by Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzaque.
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, who is also the chairperson of the committee, could not attend the meeting due to illness.
After the meeting, Additional Secretary Nasima Begum told reporters that Russian nuclear fuel firm TVEL Company will supply nuclear fuel to Rooppur Power Plant at a cost of Tk523.90 crore from 2027. The government will sign the final contract with the company soon.
“The Russian authorities concerned are scheduled to set up two loaded nuclear reactors before 2024. The Russian company will supply the necessary fuel to Rooppur power plant during its life cycle,” she said.
On January 30, Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission and Russian state-run firm Rosatom Overseas initially signed an agreement for supplying fuel to feed the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant.
The TVEL Company works mainly in uranium mining and nuclear fuel production sector. The firm belongs to the Atomenergoprom Holding Company, a part of Rosatom.
According to the recently approved proposal, the government is set to import the first consignment of nuclear fuel supply by 2027, delivered by the EPC (equipment, procurement and construction) contractor.
The cost of 1 kg nuclear fuel-grade uranium will be around $550 in 2027, shows a World Nuclear Agency report. The Rooppur Power Plant will need 113,000kg uranium every 18 months to operate with an estimated cost of Tk523.90 crore.
In 2015, the estimated cost of the plant had climbed to $13 billion from an earlier estimation of around $4 billion.
As per the contract, the first 1200MW unit of the nuclear power plant will be completed by June 2023 and the second unit by April 2024. The plant will use two Generation III+ VVER 1200 reactors.