The contract for construction of a NPP in Egypt and nuclear fuel deliveries will be signed during 2016, according to Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom. An inter-governmental agreement on the cooperation in construction and operation of a NPP with four 1,200MWe units at El Dabaa, and an agreement on provision of a Russian state loan were signed in Cairo in November 2015. Commercial negotiations are continuing on a deal which could over $30bn, a Rosatom source said. Earlier reports put the construction cost of El Dabaa at over $26bn. The Russian state loan will cover 85% and 15% will be contributed by Egypt.
Earlier in May Egyptian Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy Sources Mohamed Shaker visited Moscow for three days of talks with Rosatom. However, according to Ibrahim al- Oseyri, a former adviser to the Minister, a number of issues need to be resolved before construction can begin. He told RIA Novosti that these included the question of disposal of used nuclear fuel.
“Russia insists that the used fuel is sent to Russia for processing and that the waste is returned and buried in Egypt. Egypt, by contrast, insists that the fuel should not leave the area of al-Dabaa, " he said.
Another contentious is control of NPP. Russia insists that should manage the NPP for the first 10 years, without Egyptian participation. "We want Egyptians to be trained at NPPs in Russia and and to then work at the plant in Egypt - they need to gain experience," he said. He added that all the other unresolved until the issues are technical in nature and will be resolved in the near future.
Al Oseyri said that under President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, nuclear power has again become a strategic choice of Egypt for several reasons. "First, this source of energy in the least polluting ... Second, electricity is much cheaper. This will be the first NPP in Egypt and North Africa. and it will open a new branch in the Egyptian economy."