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NPP project more important for Egypt than resumption of Russian tourist traffic — expert

Egypt’s political thinker believes the country will face an energy catastrophe if the country abandons building the nuclear power plant

CAIRO, February 22. /TASS/. The project of nuclear power plant (NPP) construction with Russia’s participation is much more important for Egypt than return of Russian tourists, Egypt’s political thinker and international petroleum strategist Professor Tarek Heggy told TASS in an interview on Wednesday.

"The NPP construction project in El Dabaa near Alexandria is important in itself and it is a much more significant project in positive terms than return of Russian tourists to Egypt," the expert said.

"Egypt will face an energy catastrophe if the country abandons building the NPP," Heggy said. National authorities "overstate their reserves and sufficiency of such resources as oil and gas," he said. "Egypt is at a very low level in terms of oil reserves and at an average level in terms of gas reserves," the expert added.

"New gas fields discovered in offshore Mediterranean are highly important for the country but they are not the largest even in the Middle East region: these are the largest reserves indeed but for Egypt only," Heggy said. "The Mediterranean gas will be enough to cover national demands in 30-35 years; therefore it is highly important to start building the NPP now in order to provide ourselves with electric power after that," the expert added.

On November 19, 2015 Russia and Egypt signed an inter-governmental agreement on constructing the first nuclear power plant in El Dabaa, consisting of four power units with 1,200 MW capacity each. Under the agreement Cairo is granted a $25 bln loan to build the plant. The project is to be implemented in 12 years.

The nuclear power plant is expected to be built near the city of El Alamein on Egypt’s northern coast, 3.5 kilometers away from the Mediterranean Sea. The project is planned to be implemented in 12 years.