Construction on Egypt's Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant returns to schedule after delay

Gamal Essam El-Din , Wednesday 19 Apr 2023

Egypt and Russia are speeding up the construction of the 4.8 GW nuclear power plant at El-Dabaa, which is located 135 kilometres west of Alexandria, putting it back on schedule after initial delays due to the war in Ukraine and COVID-19.

 El-Dabaa Nuclear
A scene of pouring concrete of the building the 1st reactor of El-Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant on July 20. (Photo courtesy of the official Twitter account of the Russian Embassy in Egypt)


Amgad Al-Wakeel, head of the Nuclear Power Plants Authority (NPPA), announced that the project is now moving ahead at full speed in accordance with timetables and without further delays. 

The actual construction work on the plant, which is scheduled to conclude by the year 2030, kicked off in July 2022. A month earlier, Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation (ROSATOM) – contracted in 2015 to build the plant and provide it with fuel – started the production of electrical components for a reactor vessel of the plant at a production site in Saint Petersburg.

"The Egyptian Ministry of Electricity and Rosatom will lay the first concrete foundation for the plant's third nuclear reactor in the first week of May – or immediately after Eid El-Fitr holiday – and that the move will come after the Egyptian Nuclear and Radiological Authority (ENRRA) granted the necessary construction permit for the reactor," said El-Wakeel.

El-Wakeel and a delegation from Russia's Atomstroyexport Company (the engineering Division of Rosatom) led by general director Alexander Lokshin paid a visit to El-Dabaa project last week to review the final preparations for the first work on the plant's third nuclear reactor. 

El-Dabaa is Egypt's first-ever nuclear power plant and is designed to generate energy for peaceful purposes in collaboration with Russia's nuclear engineering company Rosatom which will build four nuclear reactors with capacity of 1.2 GW each.

"We are making sure that the construction works of El-Dabaa nuclear plant are proceeding at a steady pace and in accordance with timetables and that the ground is being laid for laying the first concrete foundation for the third nuclear reactor in the first week of May," said El-Wakeel, also indicating that he and the Russian delegation reviewed El-Dabaa maritime port which is exclusively devoted to receiving the equipment necessary for operating the plant.

"The port has already received the first shipment of the equipment last March," said El-Wakeel, indicating that "the port also includes a warehouse for storing the plant's heavy equipment in line with up-to-date environmental and technical standards."

"I also want to assure all that the plant's construction works for the year 2023 will also go ahead as previously planned, including laying the concrete foundation for the plant's fourth – and final – nuclear reactor," said El-Wakeel. 

He told reporters that NPPA laid the concrete foundation for the first Dabaa reactor in July 2022 and that of the second reactor in November 2022.

Meanwhile, Egypt's parliament-- the House of Representatives – is preparing to discuss and vote on draft amendments to the law regulating the NPPA, which would fully exempt from taxes all contractors, subcontractors and equipment suppliers involved in building and operating the nuclear plant.

Hossam Awadallah, Head of parliament's Energy and Environment Committee, said the amendment was approved by the committee and aims to speed up the implementation of El-Dabaa nuclear project by giving tax incentives to all those involved in building and operating it. "This demonstrates the priority the country gives to El-Dabaa project and makes sure its implementation goes smoothly and without any delay," said Awadallah.

Egypt's El-Dabaa nuclear power plant is expected to cost $30 billion.

Short link: