February 25, 2011 / 7:55 AM / 8 years ago

Bangladesh, Russia sign deal for nuclear power plant

DHAKA, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Energy-hungry Bangladesh has signed a deal with Russia to set up the country’s first nuclear power plant to generate 2,000 megawatts of electricity, officials said on Friday.

Two reactors, each with a capacity of 1,000 mw, will be built at Rooppur in the northwest at a cost of around $2 billion, with completion expected by 2017/18.

Russian state company Rosatom will supply fuel for the reactors, process spent fuel and subsequently help decommission the plant, the officials said.

Bangladesh has turned to nuclear to deal with power shortages that often stir public anger and are widely cited as a barrier to foreign investment in the impoverished country. Gas reserves are fast depleting and most coalfields remain untapped.

Barely 45 percent of Bangladesh’s more than 150 million people have access to power. The country faces a shortfall of 2,000 mw of electricity, resulting in frequent power cuts and economic losses estimated at nearly $1 billion a year. (Reporting by Ruma Paul; editing by Anis Ahmed and Ron Popeski)

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