CAIRO: Russia’s state energy corporation Rosatom has begun construction of a nuclear power plant on Egypt’s northern coast, the company and Egyptian authorities said in a joint statement.
The El-Dabaa plant is the first in Egypt and is expected to have four units, each with a production capacity of 1,200 MW, according to a statement released by Egypt’s nuclear authority late on Wednesday.
Egyptian Energy Minister Mohamed Shaker said the pouring of concrete for the first unit was a “historic event” for Egypt, made possible by Egyptian-Russian cooperation.
Egypt has been considering a nuclear power plant in El-Daba since the 1980s. Contracts for the power plant came into effect in 2017, but the start of construction was delayed for several years.
Last month, Rosatom received approval from the Egyptian regulator to start construction of the first unit.
The statement did not provide details on the cost or construction timeline. In 2016, Egypt said a $25 billion Russian loan would cover most of the construction costs.
The plant will use pressurized water reactors similar to those at the Novovoronezh and Leningrad nuclear power plants in Russia, as well as the Belarusian plant that was connected to the grid in November 2020, the joint statement said.
Egypt has rapidly expanded its power generation capacity over the past decade, particularly with large gas-fired power plants built by Siemens, and now has a surplus of electricity, with plans to start or expand electricity exports to several Middle Eastern countries.
It also aims to increase the share of its electricity generation capacity from renewable sources to 40% by 2030 and 42% by 2035.
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