Rosatom has poured first concrete for the foundation slab of unit 3 at Egypt’s El Dabaa NPP, marking the formal start of construction. This followed the issue of a construction permit by the Egyptian Nuclear & Radiological Regulatory Authority (ENRRA). The Egyptian Nuclear Power Plants Authority (NPPA) applied to ENRRA for construction licences for units 3&4 in January 2022, six months after applying for licences for units 1&2.

NPPA Board Chairman Dr Amged El-Wakil noted that several key project milestones were achieved in 2022, including the pouring of first concrete for units 1&2 and the delivery of a melt containment device for unit 1. “The work on the project is proceeding in accordance with the agreed time schedules,” he said. “We are confident that there will be outstanding achievements in the future aimed at the successful implementation of the project.”

Alexander Korchagin, Senior Vice President for NPP Construction Project Management at Rosatom’s JSC ASE said the project is gaining momentum. “For JSC ASE, construction of power units based on the VVER-1200 project is already a familiar and well-established process, which allows us to fine-tune the process of manufacturing equipment and organise the construction personnel. On the other hand, the El Dabaa NPP construction project has its own individual characteristics. I thank our Egyptian partners for well-coordinated joint work.”

El Dabaa NPP will comprise four units with generation III+ VVER-1200 pressurised water reactors. The NPP is being constructed in accordance with contracts that entered into force in 2017. The $30bn project is mainly financed through a $25bn Russian loan. Rosatom will supply nuclear fuel throughout the lifecycle of the plant, arrange for the training of the Egyptian personnel, and assist in the operation and maintenance of the plant for the first 10 years. The reference plant for El Dabaa is the Leningrad-II NPP. Construction of unit 1 began in July 2022, and work on unit 2 began in November 2022. A construction licence was issued for unit 3 in April. Construction of all four units is planned for completion by 2028-2029 and Egypt expects that the NPP will reach full capacity by 2030.

Image: A ceremony takes place to mark the pouring of first concrete (courtesy of NPPA)