Several Chinese companies, notably Dongfang Electric Corporation and China State Construction and Engineering Corporation, have expressed interest in building a second nuclear power plant for Bangladesh, the country’s nuclear power regulator said.
The Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission indicated in 2014 that a second nuclear power plant would be built, but has yet to determine a site or advance more specifics on the project, media reports said.
The country’s first nuclear power plant, a two-unit facility at Rooppur in Pabna is under construction with help from $12 billion in Russian financing. The first unit is expected to reach commercial operations status in 2020.
Bangladesh has said it was investigating four sites for a possible nuclear plant at Gangamati in Patuakhali, Mazher Char in Barguna, Boyar Char in Noakhali and Muhurir Char in Feni. But the most recent official word on the selection process came from Science and Technology Secretary Anwar Hossain, who said the selection process would be extended another six months.
The unofficial front runner is likely Gangamati, according to one report that cited major construction initiatives along the coast, including development of a deep sea port and a naval base.
Energy lobbyist Anu Muhammad said he was concerned that Chinese companies were trying to get a jump on the construction selection process “through backdoor manipulations,” Sightline reported. Chairman of the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission Mahbubul Hoq, however, said he had informed Chinese company officials that “the project was in a very early stage,” according to some reports.
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