Russia sends heavy equipment to Rooppur nuke plant by air

Originally posted in The Business Standard on 13 March 2022

Photo: Mumit M/TBS


  • The 84-tonne equipment reached Dhaka on Sunday noon
  • Russia used to send the power plant cargoes by sea
  • Maritime curbs forced Moscow switching to airways
  • If situation does not ease up, cargo planes might continue the hauling

Amid sanctions by the USA and its allies on Russia in response to invasion of Ukraine, Moscow for the first time has shifted heavy nuclear power plant equipment to Bangladesh’s Rooppur by air.

A special cargo flight landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on Sunday noon to offload the 84-tonne cargo, which is, according to the tag the consignment, the “Embedded Components of Fasteners of Passive Core Flooding System Hydro-Accumulator” of the nuke plant.

To fit in with the changed circumstances following the West’s sanctions and restrictions that include maritime restrictions too, Russia has chosen the airways to send necessary equipment to the project site, said sources at Rooppur Power plant and Dhaka Airport.

The equipment later will be mobilised to the project site in Pabna’s Ishurdi by road, said the officials.

Rosatom, the State Nuclear Energy Corporation of Russia, used to ship required equipment of Bangladesh’s maiden nuclear power plant by sea.

Officials at Rooppur Power Plant said all the heavy equipment of the two units of the project have already shipped to Bangladesh, including steam generators and reactor pressure vessels.

If the sanctions by the West continue deterring Russia from using shipment by sea, Moscow then will continue the supply by air, said the sources.

The Rooppur NPP is designed and constructed by Rosatom. The plant will consist of two Generation III+ VVER-1200 reactor power units with an expected life cycle of 60 years and a provision extension for another 20 years.