An undated old photo shows the site where Egypt plans to build its 900-megawatt pressurized-water-reactor nuclear power plant, on the edge of the town of el-Dabaa, 388 km northwest of Cairo (Photo: AFP)
Egypt will launch a tender for its first nuclear plant in Dabaa — located on the Mediterranean coast — to global companies by end of the current year, in order to up national capacity to generate power, state owned Al-Ahram daily newspaper reported Saturday.
According to Al-Ahram, the power generated from Dabaa will be used to meet electricity demands as the country has experienced frequent blackouts over recent years due to fuel shortages.
Egypt’s military engineering organisation set 7 September 2014 as the date by which it will finish the plant’s infrastructure rehabilitation that started May, costing LE13 billion, Al-Ahram added.
It is yet to be determined if the tender will be open to all international companies or will be closed to specific ones.
The first brick of Egypt’s Dabaa nuclear power plant was laid under ousted president Hosni Mubarak. Site development was halted due to disputes with local residents, who accused the state of confiscating their land by force and without proper compensation.
In January 2012, Dabaa locals stormed the construction site, destroying existing infrastructure and refusing to surrender to military police. Low radioactive sources were also looted from the location, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency.
In late 2013, local tribal families from Dabaa and Marsa Matrouh (a sea port 240 kilometres west of Alexandria) relinquished the nuclear construction site to the Egyptian armed forces after months of occupying the controversial area.