Rosatom Expects to Sign Contract With Egypt to Build Nuclear Power Plant

The head of the Russian state nuclear agency, Rosatom, has said he expects the company to sign a contract in 2017 with Egypt to construct that country’s first nuclear power plant.

Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation (Rosatom) expects to sign a contract with Egypt on construction of the first nuclear power plant (NPP) in the African nation in 2017, Alexey Likhachev, the head of Rosatom, told Sputnik on Thursday.

“I hope that [the contract will be signed] this year. Everything is going as it should be,” Likhachev said on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF).

Construction of new power unit at NPP
© Sputnik/ Pavel Lisitsyn
India Provides Russia With Site to Construct New NPP Designed by Moscow

The two-day EEF started in the Russian city of Vladivostok on Wednesday, gathering over 3,500 participants from more than 50 countries. A number of world leaders are in attendance at the forum, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in, as well as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency is a general media partner of the forum.

Egypt prepares to break ground on first nuclear power plant

Egypt’s president, Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, used his visit to the BRICS summit in China to invite Russian president Vladimir Putin to visit Egypt to attend a ground breaking ceremony for north Africa’s first nuclear power station.

According to the Kremlin’s press service, Sisi told Putin: “I would like to inform you that we have completed the formalities for approving the contract to build the nuclear power plant at al-Dabaa. We hope that you will be present together with me at the contract’s official signing. This would be a good opportunity to welcome you once more on Egyptian soil.”

Putin accepted the invitation yesterday. The ceremony will mark the end of two years of talks on the project.

The al-Dabaa plant will be built by Russia’s state nuclear contractor Rosatom, and will be located about 130km northwest of Cairo. The project, which will have four 1.2GW reactors, is expected to cost $30bn. Russia has agreed to finance $25bn with a state loan repayable over 13 years at an interest rate of 3% beginning in 2029, the year the plant is expected to be complete. The Egyptians will find the remaining $5bn.

The reactors will use Rosatom’s third generation VVER-1200 design. This model was first installed in the Novovoronezh plant last year.

Egypt and Rosatom have signed two contracts covering the construction of the plant and the supply of nuclear fuel; two more, covering technical training and the reprocessing of spent fuel, will be signed before the ground breaking.