Rooppur rail link contract signed

12 July 2018

A Bangladesh-Indian joint ventureĀ is to build a new 26.5 kilometre railway link from the Rooppur nuclear power plant to Ishwardi under a contract signed in Dhaka on 10 July. The contract is to be completed within 18 months.

Rooppur 1 is currently under construction (Image: Rosatom)

Construction of Bangladesh's first nuclear power unit - a Russian-designed VVER-1200, which is being constructed by JSC AtomStroyExport (ASE) - began at Rooppur in November 2017. Earlier this week a construction licence was issued for Rooppur unit 2, with first concrete now expected to be poured on 14 July.

The contract between Bangladesh Railway and the joint venture of Bangladesh companies Standard Engineers Ltd and Castle Construction Ltd and Indian company GPT Infrastructure was signed in the presence of Bangladesh Minister for Railways Mazibul Haque, who said the rail link would be needed to support the construction project.

"For the construction of the Rooppur nuclear power plant, we will need to transport heavy machineries and instruments through a freight train. Hence, the construction of a new railway link is very important," the minister said, according to the Dhaka Tribune.

The contract includes the 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 BDT2976 million (USD35 million), and will form part of a network linking the Rooppur plant to the sea ports of Chittagong and Mongla.

Kolkata-based GPT Infrastructure said its share of the joint venture is 34%.

Russia, Bangladesh and India signed a memorandum on cooperation in the implementation of the Rooppur nuclear power plant project in March, setting a framework for the interaction of ASE, Indian and Bangladeshi experts in the implementation of works related to the project. Under the agreement, Indian companies can be involved in construction and installation works, the supply of materials and equipment of a non-critical category in the interests of the project.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News