Water terminal ready to receive equipment for construction of Bangladesh's first nuclear plant

Russian state atomic energy corporation Rosatom has announced that the freight water terminal that would receive equipment for Bangladesh’s first nuclear power plant (NPP) being constructed at Rooppur on the east bank of the Padma river became fully operational in the last week of August. The port is intended for receiving various process equipment for the construction and operation of the NPP, including the delivery of fresh fuel.

A Rosatom statement said that the port on the Padma river is operating normally, receiving both construction cargo and process equipment. “The main components of the reactor compartment of Unit 1, that is, the VVER-1200 reactor pressure vessel, 4 steam generators and polar crane will be delivered to the construction site this year through this cargo terminal,” Director of the Rooppur NPP construction project, S. G. Lastochkin, said.

According to Rosatom, the NPP at Rooppur, located around 160 km from the Bangladesh capital, Dhaka, will consist of two units with a capacity of 1,200 MW each, and the first unit will start working in 2023, while the second one will be operational in 2024. The shipment of a VVER-1200 reactor vessel and a steam generator, manufactured at the Atomenergomash (Rosatom subsidiary) plant in Volgodonsk, has already embarked from Russia last month.

Transportation of the large, heavy cargo for the Rooppur project will be carried out by sea from St. Petersburg and Novorossiysk to the Bangladeshi port of Mongla. From there, the construction materials and equipment will be placed on the river vessels and transported along the Padma river to the freight terminal located at the NPP construction site.

According to a Rosatom statement, it took 18 months to construct the freight cargo terminal on the Padma river. “It is a berthing structure of the bulwark type made of pipe piles (piles made of a single pipe with locks welded to it) with a diameter of 1420×16 mm. The length of the pipes is 37.55 meters (m). The volume of back filling was 660,000 cubic meters. The size of the port is 150 m by 350 m. The port is built taking into account 10 m difference in river water level at various seasons of the year. Even during the period of maximum water drop in Padma river, the water depth at the mooring wall will be at least 3.5 meters allowing to unload the cargo all year round. The cargo terminal will be able to receive even oversized vessels”, it said. 

Currently, the port is equipped with 2 cranes with a capacity of 63 tons. The company plans to install two more Liebherr heavy cranes with a capacity of 308 tons. An 8-meter high protective dam with a length of 3.5 kilometers was built and a system for automatic monitoring of its condition has been installed, the statement added.