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Construction of Egypt’s first nuclear power plant begins


Construction for the El-Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant has begun in Egypt. This is the first nuclear power plant in the country and will consist of 4 units with a generating capacity equivalent to 1200 MW per unit using generation III+ VVER-1200 reactors (pressurized water reactors).

Alexey Likhachev, Rosatom Director General, and Mohamed Shaker, Egyptian Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy gave a green light to the pouring of the “first concrete” for the Nuclear Power Plant Unit 1 during the ceremony held to commemorate this historic event.

The ceremony was attended by, among others, Egyptian Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy Mohamed Shaker, NPPA Chairman Amged El-Wakeel and Rosatom Director General Alexey Likhachov.

“The construction launch at the El-Dabaa NPP Unit 1 means that Egypt has joined the nuclear club. Rosatom will build cutting-edge power units of VVER-1200 design in the Arab Republic of Egypt. We have gained experience constructing and operating NPPs with such reactors both in Russia and abroad. The construction of the nuclear power plant will allow Egypt to reach a new level of technology, industry and education development. The plant will be the largest project of the Russian-Egyptian cooperation since the Aswan High Dam. Having its own nuclear energy industry has been a dream for the Egyptian people for more than half a century, and it is a great honour for Rosatom to make this dream come true,” Alexey Likhachev noted emphasizing the significance of the event.

Earlier, on 29 June 2022, ahead of schedule, the ENRRA issued the construction permit for the El-Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant Unit 1, allowing concrete pouring to commence.

Mohamed Shaker added “The ceremony commemorating the pouring of the first concrete for unit 1 is a great delight for us. The commencement of full-scale construction of unit 1 is a historic event for Egypt. The political leadership and the Egyptian-Russian cooperation contributed to the implementation of this ambitious project despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, which did not have a negative impact on the project.”

The El-Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant will be constructed in the city of El-Dabaa, Matrouh Governorate, on the Mediterranean coast, roughly 300 km north-west of Cairo. It is the most advanced technology to date and it has already been successfully implemented and operated in Russia and abroad. There are four operating units equipped with such reactors in Russia: two reactors at each of the sites of the Novovoronezh and Leningrad nuclear power plants. Outside of Russia, a VVER-1200 reactor-based power unit was connected to the grid at the Belarusian nuclear power plant in November 2020.

The El-Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant is being constructed according to the contracts which became effective on 11 December 2017. Pursuant to the relevant contractual obligations, the Russian Party will build the plant, deliver Russian nuclear fuel for its entire life cycle, as well as assist the Egyptian Party in personnel training and support them in the operation and servicing of the Nuclear Power Plant for the first 10 years of its operation. Within the framework of another agreement, the Russian Party will build a special storage facility and deliver casks for storing spent nuclear fuel.

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech, business and African startups. Founder and Editor For TechTrendsKE. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to nkanali@techtrendske.co.ke.

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