DHAKA, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- The first concrete was poured in the construction of Bangladesh's first nuclear power plant on Thursday.
Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the main construction works of the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant.
In a grand ceremony in presence of hundreds of local and foreign dignitaries, Hasina launched the main construction works by pouring concrete at the plant's site in the country's Pabna district, 216 km west of the capital Dhaka.
The country's maiden nuclear plant scheme is being implemented by the government's Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC) under the country's Science and Technology Ministry, with financial, technical and technological supports given by Russia through its state-owned nuclear giant Rosatom.
A total of 262 acres of land have been acquired to set up two units of the plant with a capacity of 2,400-MW.
The country's biggest ever project in terms of financial involvement will require an estimated 1.13 trillion taka (about 14.13 billion U.S. dollars).
Bangladeshi Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal earlier said the government would provide 220.52 billion taka (2.75 billion U.S. dollars) from the national exchequer while Russia will provide 910.40 billion taka (11.38 billion U.S. dollars) at 4.0 percent interest as project assistance to be repaid back in 20 years with a 10-year grace period.
The proposed plant is expected to add 2,400 megawatt electricity through two units to the national grid by 2024.
The contractor has 68 months following the inauguration ceremony to complete the construction work.
The Bangladeshi government expects the plant's first unit will add 1,200 megawatts of power to the national grid in mid-2023. And the second unit will be available in 2024.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's ruling Bangladesh Awami League party said the plant was part of the government's vision to produce 60,000 megawatts of power by 2041.
Speaking at a ceremony in Dhaka Wednesday, Hasina said the government has set a target of generating 24,000 megawatts of electricity by 2021 and 60,000 megawatts by 2041.