Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated work on the Rooppur nuclear power plant at Pabna district in Northwest Bangladesh, which will have two 1,000-MW reactors that are expected to cost about USD 4 billion.
"It is a milestone in the use of technology (in Bangladesh), I believe it fulfills the nation's dream," Hasina told during the groundbreaking ceremony.
The nuclear plant is expected to be completed in the next five years and will cater 10 percent of the country's total power under an energy roadmap, she said.
Bangladesh aims to increase power production to 20,000 MW by 2021. The ceremony came two years after Bangladesh and Russia signed a crucial agreement on cooperation for the nuclear plant, which is expected to be completed by 2017-18.
Bangladesh signed an initial deal with Russia's state-run nuclear agency Rosatom in November 2011 to build the plant to meet its growing energy needs.
During Hasina's visit to Moscow in January, the two sides signed an agreement whereby Russia will provide a loan of USD 500 million to Bangladesh for the plant.
Officials said that the Rooppur plant will be built with ‘third generation technology’ and protected by five layers of security in line with directives of the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA), which gave its green signal for the project in 2007.
A total of 162 acres was acquired for the plant in 1963, when Bangladesh was the eastern wing of Pakistan but the project was shelved for decades awaiting IAEA approval.


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