CAIRO, February 2. /TASS/. Russia and Egypt have agreed on an updated work schedule for the construction of a nuclear power plant in El-Dabaa on the Mediterranean Sea, Russia’s Ambassador to Cairo Georgy Borisenko told Russian reporters on Tuesday.
"The pandemic has slowed down the preparations at the site. The preparations are still ongoing, which largely depends on Egypt as they need to fully complete the technical documentation," the diplomat explained.
According to him, the visit of the head of the state nuclear corporation Rosatom Alexei Likhachev to Cairo on December 28, 2020 made it possible to agree on an updated schedule as well as to agree with Russian and Egyptian institutions on the implementation of the construction.
"We hope the work on the site of the future nuclear power plant will enter the main phase soon," he said.
Russia and Egypt signed an intergovernmental agreement on the construction of the country's first nuclear power plant in Cairo in November 2015. The total cost of construction is $30 billion. The NPP will consist of four power units with a capacity of 1200 MW each. The parties also signed an agreement to provide Egypt with a state export loan of $25 billion for the construction of the nuclear power plant, which will cover 85% of the work. The remaining expenses should be covered by the Egyptian side by attracting private investors.Under the agreement Egypt is to start payments on the loan, which was provided at 3% per annum, in October 2029.
The nuclear power plant will be built by Rosatom on the northern coast of Egypt, 3.5 km from the Mediterranean Sea (on the stretch between 149 km to 164 km of the highway near the city of El Alamein). By 2028, Russia will build four power units with VVER-1200 type reactors and will supply nuclear fuel throughout the entire NPP life cycle (60 years), as well as provide training services and carry out maintenance and repairs within 10 years after the start of each unit. The contract also provides for the construction of the first module of a dry container storage for spent nuclear fuel by 2028.
Permission to use the site at El Dabaa was obtained by the Egyptian Nuclear Power Plant Authority in March 2019. The groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the future nuclear power plant was planned for mid-2020, but was postponed due to the pandemic.