The government has finished negotiations with Russia on the contracts for depleted fuel depots, operation, maintenance, and technical support for the Dabaa nuclear plant. The contracts will be sent to President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi next week to determine the date of signing the contracts.
Sources said that the agreements include giving Egypt the right to keep fuel depleted throughout the operational life of the nuclear reactor for the possibility of reuse if a new technology emerges with possible benefits.
The agreements also stipulate that Russia supplies nuclear fuel to the plant for a period of 60 years on international prices. If Russia breaks the contract, Egypt will then have the right to obtain the fuel from other countries.
The sources pointed out that Russia will supply nuclear fuel to the project at prices lower than the current global prices that are currently standing at 0.7 cents, as the price of fuel is determined by several factors, including the cost of manufacturing.
The steering committee for negotiations with Russia includes representatives of the ministries of electricity, defense, interior, oil, finance, and environment, as well as a number of agencies and sovereign bodies.
In March, Minister of Electricity Mohamed Shaker announced the signing of the main establishment and fuel supply contracts, leaving the technical support, operation, maintenance, and depleted fuel depots contracts.
The sources said that it was agreed on for technical support and maintenance that an Egyptian team will be sent to Russia for training, in addition to the presence of Russian experts at the site of Dabaa to guide the operation of reactors and provide documentation of maintenance and supply of nuclear reactor parts for ten years.
According to the agreement with Russia, 2,000 technicians and engineers will be trained to operate and maintain the nuclear power plant and provide expertise and knowledge during the construction period, either through the design or operation of the project.
The sources said that a committee headed by the Military Production Ministry will coordinate with Russia about the local companies that will work in the nuclear project. The Ministry of Military Production is preparing a list of Egyptian companies to participate in the local component of the Dabaa nuclear plant, including civil works and electricity connections.
The sources pointed to the agreement with Russia that exempts the equipment and machines from customs, in accordance with the law on the establishment of nuclear power plants.
The sources said that it was agreed to implement the cost-escalation agreement starting from the current month, having already been postponed for four months. This agreement indicates the changes on the cost of services and goods in a specific economic framework over a specified period of time.
Egypt signed an agreement with Russia to establish a nuclear power plant in Dabaa with a capacity of 4,800 MW for $30bn.
Russia will provide a governmental loan to Egypt worth $25bn.
The loan is used to finance 85% of the value of each contract to implement works, services, and shipments of the project. The Egyptian side will pay the remaining amount, representing 15% in the form of instalments. The amount will be paid to the benefit of the authorised Russian institutions in a way that suits the contracts, in the form of an advance or any payment that is made later after implementing works and services and delivering supplies. The term of the loan is 13 years over the period from 2016 until 2028, at a 3% annual interest rate.