Egypt's Sisi orders finalisation of procedures with Russia for nuclear plant project

Ahram Online , Thursday 12 Nov 2015

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi listens during a news conference with Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron at Number 10 Downing Street in London, Britain, November 5, 2015 (Reuters)

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has asked top officials to finalise all the legal and technical procedures in order to implement a Russian bid to establish a nuclear power plant on the country's Mediterranean coast, the presidency said in a statement on Thursday.

El-Sisi met with Prime Minster Sherif Ismail, Minster of Electricity Mohamed Shaker, Minister of Finance Hani Qadry, and the head of the financial affairs authority for Egypt's armed forces.

"Both the electricity and the finance ministers displayed the benefits of the Russian nuclear power plant,” the statement read, adding that “the president asked officials to complete the final procedures in order to approve the Russian offer and launch the construction of the project officially.”

In October, a senior official at Russia's state-owned nuclear firm Rosatom announced that talks for a contract to build a nuclear power station in Egypt had reached their final stages.

Anton Moskvin, Rosatom's overseas vice president, told Reuters that the deal was expected to be signed by the end of the year and the project will be completed in 2022.

The planned plant would be located at an existing nuclear site in Dabaa on the Mediterranean coast, west of Alexandria.

In 2009, the now-dissolved National Democratic Party had plans to build a nuclear power plant on the site, but the project was halted due to political turmoil. It was revived again in 2013 under interim president Adly Mansour.

Following the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi, Egyptian-Russian relations have been strengthened in terms of diplomatic and military cooperation.

Egypt has experienced periods electricity shortages in recent years, at times causing frequent blackouts.

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