Work starts on Egyptian NPP before contract is finalised

22 September 2016

Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom has begun construction on the Dabaa NPP in Egypt, undertaking site surveys, Egyptian Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker said on 20 September. The plant will have a total capacity of 4,800MWe. However, the NPP has yet to receive any financing and no contracts have been signed, he added. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi announced during his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, on the sidelines of the recent G20 summit in China, that Russia had already started work at Dabaa.

Shaker said that all the technical procedures and negotiations for the plant have been completed and only the legal aspects are awaiting a decision prior to signing the final contracts. He insisted that there are no points of disagreement. However, a high-level government official said that there were obstacles relating to the loans that are supposed to be granted to Egypt by banks, Egypt’s Daily News reported.

The official gazette published on 19 May the approval of President El-Sisi on the agreement between Moscow and Cairo on a Russian government loan of $25bn to finance the plant. The loan will be used to finance 85% of the value of each contract for equipment and services. Egypt will pay the remaining 15% in instalments. The term of the loan is 13 years from 2016 until 2028, with a 3% annual interest rate. Shaker said the ministry hoped to sign the agreement no later than 27 October.

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