Up to 60 percent of the total cost allocated for Egypt's El-Dabaa nuclear power plant is dedicated to the safety systems, Alexander Voronkov, the regional manager of the Russian company ROSTOM, which is in charge of the project, said on Thursday.
In an interview with Al-Ahram’s business and economy magazine, Voronkov underscored that modern self-regulation and monitoring systems are an integral part of modern nuclear power plants. The system has the ability to automatically correct any error that could be made by human workers.
“The systems used in the project all meet international standards introduced by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) after the Fukushima accident in 2011, and are considered the only guarantee against technical malfunctions or potential accidents," Voronkov said.
ROSTOM's regional manager asserted that every dollar invested in constructing nuclear plants based on Russian technical systems is expected to provide revenues of nearly $2 for the local companies, about $1.5 for tax, and some $4 for the national GDP.
"The long-term use of nuclear technologies creates opportunities that improve quality of life as these technologies can be used not only in the nuclear energy sector, but also in medicine and agriculture," he added.
The plant consists of four state-of-the-art VVER-1,200 nuclear reactors, which have been successfully used in two Russian nuclear power plants, Novovoronezh and Leningradskaya, Voronkov explained.
The Russian expert affirmed that the deal signed between Egypt and Russia pays remarkable attention to the involvement of the Egyptian companies in the project, saying “the localisation process will be applied gradually through 4 stages.”
"Under specific tenders, the Egyptian companies will participate in design, the import of equipment, and construction… the participation percentage will start with 20 percent and is set to hit 35 percent," he added.
"Two Egyptian companies, Arab Contractors and Hassan Allam, won two open tenders last year, and will thereby participate in building a logistic base and conducting vertical planning for the construction site. Another four tenders are scheduled to be organised in the current year," Voronkov explained.
In December 2017, Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Russia's President Vladimir Putin signed a deal to build the first-ever Egyptian nuclear plant.
Al-Dabaa, which is to be constructed over seven years, is planned to be built in Matrouh governorate on the Mediterranean coast, 250km west of Alexandria. Construction on the plant is expected to start in 2020.
The project, which is owned and operated by Egypt's Nuclear Power Plant Authority, will be developed by ROSATOM.