Egypt, Russia to lay foundation for Dabaa's second nuclear reactor on Saturday

Gamal Essam El-Din , Friday 18 Nov 2022

Egypt will celebrate on Saturday the beginning of construction of the second nuclear reactor at the El-Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) west of Alexandria.

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)


Minister of Electricity Mohamed Shaker will attend the celebration, giving the final approval for laying down the first concrete foundation works for the reactor, according to Al-Ahram newspaper.

The four-reactor NPP will be built by the Russian state-owned integrated company Rosatom, under contracts which entered into force in December 2017.

El-Dabaa is Egypt's first-ever nuclear power plant and is designed to generate nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in collaboration with Rosatom.

Al-Ahram said on Friday that senior officials from both Egypt and Russia will be celebrating the event in El-Dabaa on Saturday.

The El-Dabaa plant is situated 135 km southwest of the Mediterranean city of Alexandria and 320 km northwest of the capital Cairo.

The planned four reactors for the plant are expected to operate at a full capacity of 4,800 MW – with each reactor generating 1,200 MW – by 2030.

Egypt and Russia laid the concrete foundations for the first reactor in July, in coordination with Rosatom.

"We are currently doing our best to ensure that the construction work on the four-reactor plant is completed according to schedule," Egypt's Minister of Electricity Mohamed Shaker said during the celebration on 20 July.

On Friday, Al-Ahram cited Amgad El-Wakeel, the chair of Egypt's Nuclear Power Plants Authority (NPPA), as saying that the actual construction of El-Dabaa's second nuclear reactor comes after it gets permission from the Egyptian Nuclear and Radiological Regulatory Authority on 31 October, thus paving the way for laying the first concrete foundations on Saturday (19 November).

"Rosatom will build a state-of-the art plant with the Russian VVER-1200 innovative GEN+3 design, which is the most common technology used today in generating nuclear power around the world," said El-Wakil.

"The Dabaa plant will meet the highest safety standards in compliance with the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) safety regulations and, as a result, the plant will be able to withstand earthquakes, airplane crashes, explosions, and even tsunamis."

“The supervision of the IAEA was a necessary step before we began the actual construction of the first reactor on the ground,” he said.

According to various reports, the NPP will cost around $30 billion. The project is being financed through a $25 billion loan extended by Russia to Egypt – with the remaining 15 percent to be covered by the Egyptian treasury. Egypt will start repayment of the Russian loan in 2029, at an interest rate of three percent annually.

“Egypt will pay 20-25 percent of the cost of the first and second reactors, and 30-35 percent of the cost of the third and fourth,” said El-Wakil.

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