Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi during the meeting with Rosatom officials on Sunday (Photo: Al-Ahram Arabic website)
Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi received on Sunday the new head of the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom, Alexei Likhachev, expressing Egypt's keenness to finalise contracts and start work on the El-Dabaa nuclear power plant as soon as possible.
The meeting, which was attended by Egypt’s Minister of Electricity Mohamed Shaker, saw a final review of the contract to execute the project, according presidency spokesperson Alaa Youssef.
President El-Sisi praised cooperation between Egypt and Russia on the project, which he said is a symbol of friendship between the two countries.
The Russian official said that Rosatom is keen to complete the project at the earliest possible time.
In November 2015, El-Sisi oversaw the signing of the deal between Egypt and Russia to establish the first Egyptian nuclear power plant.
Expected to be completed within 12 years, the El-Dabaa nuclear plant will be the largest Russian-Egyptian project since the Aswan dam, the then-head of Rosatom said during the signing ceremony in 2015.
According to the draft agreement, Russia will loan Egypt the $25 billion needed to finance the building and operation of the plant.
Egypt is to pay the loan back at an interest rate of three percent annually, with instalment payments beginning in 2029.