Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail announced that all the Dabaa nuclear power plant contracts are finalised except for the fuel contract. The announcement came one day after Russian President Vladimir Putin accepted the invitation of President Abd Al-Fattah Al-Sisi to visit Egypt and attend the signing ceremony of the Dabaa nuclear power plant.
Ismail pointed out that the laying of the nuclear power plant cornerstone will take place soon, adding that the formulation and revision of the main contract, the implementation, maintenance, and operation contracts have been completed.
Egypt seeks to increase reliance on renewable energy sources in the power supply to make up around 20% of the total capacity of the national energy network by 2022 and to increase it to reach to 37% by 2035.
In May 2016, The Rosatom State Atomic Energy company announced that it would use third generation “VVER-1200 “reactors for the first time. The Dabaa nuclear power plant will consist of four of these reactors, each with 1,200MW capacity and with a total capacity of 4,800MW.
With the completion of the Dabaa nuclear power plant, Cairo can stand on the edge of technological progress enjoyed by the developed world, said Maher Aziz, energy and environmental consultant and a member of the World Energy Council. He added that project will create 5,000-6,0000 jobs during the first six years, indicating that the project will provide 10,000 job opportunities until its completion over 4 phases.
On the other hand, Hussein Al-Shafei, president of the Egyptian-Russian Foundation for Culture and Science, said that the Dabaa nuclear power plant project will achieve annual revenues of $17bn after exporting the produced electricity, pointing out that Egypt will get the return on investment of nuclear reactors in 2023 after the first reactor starts operating. Al-Shafei said the government would repay the first instalment of the loan to the Russian side in 2029 at a rate of two instalments annually for 42 years with an annual interest rate of 3%. He noted that operating the four reactors for 60 years will generate an income of $264bn.
Furthermore, the Dabaa nuclear power plant would mark a qualitative change in the relationship between Egypt and Russia, said Karim Al-Adham, former president of the National Center for Nuclear Safety and Radiation Control (NCNSRC). Al-Adham explained that has a major nuclear school since the 1960s and that Egypt has the cadres and competencies needed for the management of this project.