Bangladesh Railway on 10 July signed a contract with a joint venture of Bangladesh companies Standard Engineers Ltd and Castle Construction Ltd and Indian company GPT Infrastructure to build a new 26.5km railway link from Bangladesh’s Rooppur nuclear plant to Ishwardi. Kolkata-based GPT Infrastructure said its share of the joint venture is 34%.
The contract is to be completed within 18 months. The contract includes construction of 22km of main railway tracks, a 4.5km loop line, a station, 13 level crossings and seven box culverts, as well as the purchase and establishment of a computer-based signalling system. It is worth a total of BDT2,976m ($35m), and will form part of a network linking the Rooppur plant to the seaports of Chittagong and Mongla. The new link will be used to transport heavy machinery and components for the plant.
Rooppur is being constructed by JSC AtomStroyExport (ASE), part of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom, and will comprise two Russian-designed VVER-1200 reactor units. Construction began on Rooppur 1 in November 2017. Earlier in July, a construction licence was issued for Rooppur 2 and first concrete was poured on 14th July. The construction ceremony was attended by Bangladesh's Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation for Defense Industrial Complex Affairs Yury Borisov and Rosatom's First Deputy Director General for Operations Management, Alexander Lokshin.
Russia, Bangladesh and India signed a memorandum on cooperation in the implementation of the Rooppur nuclear power plant project in March, establishing a framework for the interaction of ASE, Indian and Bangladeshi experts in the implementation of works related to the project. Indian companies are expected to take part in construction and installation work, the supply of materials and non-critical equipment.