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Rooppur nuclear plant likely to see cost hike in some components

The first phase of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant project is likely to see changes in some of its components, including cost hike in research, services and construction sectors, in its proposed revision.

Officials at the Ministry of Science and Technology said the ministry has proposed the first revision of the project to the Planning Commission for raising the cost in some components, including research and construction purpose.

However, the ministry is not in favour of raising the overall project cost and the scheduled timeframe, they said.

The officials also said the project is expected to see cost cut in some of its components, including maintenance and preservation, resource collection, manpower salaries and physical contingency.

The first phase of the project is being implemented at a cost of Tk 5,087 crore by the Ministry of Science and Technology from April 2013 to June 2017. Of the total project cost, Tk 1,087 crore will come from the national exchequer while Tk 4,000 crore as project assistance.

The authorities of the Nuke plant project proposed an allocation of Tk 432.51 crore in research component instead of the original allocation of Tk 400 crore.

As per the $500 million agreement signed between the governments of Bangladesh and Russia, Bangladesh was supposed to provide 10 percent of the amount as advance fee.

Meanwhile, four agreements have been signed between Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission and Russian Firm Atomostroyexport, and as per these four agreements, Tk 432.51 crore is needed for research.

Besides, the original project kept aside an allocation of Tk 104.74 crore in various sectors and sub-sectors of the supply services package alongside Tk 30.48 crore as site license fee and services fee for getting the site license and construction license as per the requirements of the Atomic Energy Commission.

Furthermore, the Science and Technology Ministry will have to provide Tk 10 crore to the Roads and Highways Department for handing over all the buildings of Bangla Kutir under the Department to this nuke project.

As a result, Tk 2.57 crore more has been sought for this supply and services component.

Initially, Tk 318.15 crore was allocated against various construction works for this project. But, following the recommendations of the National Committee, a decision was taken to complete the works for residential village, power substation, telecommunication tower through the PWD, PGCB, PDB and BTCL for which additional Tk 89.43 crore has been sought for this construction works component in the proposed revision of the project.

Since there is an obligation for the government of Bangladesh to pay all the tax and VAT to be applicable for the project as per the inter-state support agreement, only Tk 2.57 crore was allocated in the original DPP in CD, VAT component considering that the National Board of Revenue (NBR) would exempt all the duty, tax and VAT applicable for AIT, ATV, commission on letter of credit, jetty charge, VAT on insurance and commission in the import stage of the project.

As the NBR is yet to exempt all the tax and VAT for the project and consignments of the project has been released through deferred payment, proposal has been made to allocate Tk 102 in this CD and VAT component.

On the other hand, the project cost in maintenance and preservation component involving project vehicles, project site and site office, residential areas and other infrastructures is likely to see cut as it will stand at Tk 15.29 crore from the original allocation of Tk 37.36 crore.

The project is also likely to see around Tk 125 crore cost deduction in vehicles, stationary items, furniture, computer accessories, local and foreign machineries component from the original allocation of Tk 145 crore.

For the workers salaries and the allowances, the ministry proposed cutting cost by Tk 13.03 crore from the original allocation of Tk 15.01 crore as all the scientists and engineers involved in this project draw their salaries and allowances from the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission.

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