South Korea is interested in building a nuclear power plant in Bangladesh if the latter also shows interest and conditions are favourable.
Lee Jang-keun, the South Korean ambassador in Dhaka, said on Wednesday the idea of a South Korea-bulit nuclear power plant “might be at the primary stage”.
Speaking to reporters at a discussion organised by the Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh or DCAB, he said all both countries need to do is to focus on collaboration for this to happen.
Citing 2019 data, he said South Korea is the sixth largest nuclear power-generating country with 24 such plants in operation.
Jang-keun noted South Korea sent nuclear power plant technology to the United Arab Emirates as early as 2008 and recently it got the same job in Egypt.
“We have nuclear capacity and we also have technology. If there is interest and the conditions are met by that, the Korean companies might be interested in working with Bangladesh,”
Bangladesh’s first nuclear power plant is being built in Pabna’s Rooppur with assistance from Russia.
$3BN SOFT LOAN
The ambassador said even though South Korea’s official development assistance to Bangladesh is relatively smaller than those of Japan, the US and Europe, Bangladesh is the third major recipient of South Korea’s ODA.
“We expect that Bangladesh will be the second largest recipient this year,” he said and revealed that Korea has decided to significantly increase the size of its soft loan from the Economic Development Cooperation Fund to Bangladesh to $3 billion from $700 million.
This amount will be implemented during the next five years, between 2022 and 2026, he said. The previous $700 million soft loan had been agreed for the five years from 2021 to 2025.
So far Korea has provided $1.34 billion of EDCF concessional loans to Bangladesh for 27 projects.
“With this increase Korea can now assist bigger development projects of Bangladesh. I believe that this will help Bangladesh for the smooth graduation from LDC in 2026,” the ambassador said.