Import orders hit record high

The value of letters of credit opened in November reached a record high of $ 16.33 billion, fueled by huge import orders by the Atomic Energy Commission of Bangladesh for the Rooppur nuclear power plant.

Data from the Bangladesh Bank showed that BAEC alone opened LCs worth $ 11.38 billion last month through Sonali Bank to install the power station, the first of its kind.

Bangladesh's import orders have never exceeded $ 6 billion in a single month.

JSC Atomstroyexport, a Russian entrepreneur, will build the power plant at a cost of $ 12.65 billion.

Moscow will grant 90% of the fund for Bangladesh 's largest infrastructure project under an agreement with Dhaka. The remaining 10% will come from Bangladesh.

The Bank for Development and External Economic Affairs (Vnesheconombank), a Russian lender, will provide all types of equipment for the factory, said a bank manager Sonali.

BAEC used almost all the credits granted by Russia to open CLs.

The commission will not need to open any other LC for the plant as it placed the import orders at one time, said the manager of the factory. the bank Sonali.

Industrial machinery and industrial raw materials for the factory will be imported in phases until 2024.

A BB official said that import orders, the highest in the country's history, would put no pressure on foreign exchange reserves.

"Reserves, however, may be under pressure when the government starts paying installments for loans," he said.

BAEC will settle LCs using Russian credit, which will have a term of 30 years with a grace period of 10 years. Bangladesh will have to start repaying loans from March 2027.

The Rooppur plant is expected to supply 2,400 megawatts of electricity to the national grid by 2024.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the main construction works of the project on November 30th.

BAEC implements the project with technical support from the Russian company Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation.

The rest of the export orders were for industrial raw materials, equipment machinery, food grains and other products.

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