Russia to build 4,800MW nuclear power plant in Egypt

Moscow and Cairo signed an agreement on Thursday for Russia to build a nuclear power plant in Egypt, with Russia extending a loan to Egypt to cover the cost of construction.

A spokesman for Russia’s state-owned nuclear firm Rosatom said the plant, Egypt’s first, would be built at Dabaa in the north of the country and was expected to be completed by 2022.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, speaking on state TV, gave few details but said the project would involve the building of a ‘third-generation’ plant with four reactors of 1,200MW each, which “will make Egypt regional technological leader and the region’s only country with NPP 3+ Gen technology”.

Rosatom said that the intergovernmental agreement specifies about future nuclear fuel supply, terms on operation, maintenance and repair of NPP units, treatment of spent nuclear fuel, and training of personnel.

The company, however, did not reveal further details on the terms of the agreement, but Sisi said the loan from Russia would be paid off over 35 years through the production of electricity from the plant.

Egypt has been considering a nuclear plant at Dabaa on and off since the 1980s, but Cairo froze its nuclear plans after the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. It only announced in 2006, under former President Hosni Mubarak, that it intended to revive them. Mubarak was then overthrown in a revolution in 2011.

Sisi, who came to power in 2014, said in February that he had signed a memorandum of understanding to go ahead with the nuclear project. He has also talked this week of building solar and wind energy facilities in the coming three years to generate around 4,300 megawatts of power.

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