Likhachev sees progress at Egypt’s El Dabaa NPP

21 July 2023

The head of Rosatom, Alexei Likhachev, visited the construction site of the El-Dabaa NPP under construction in Egypt. During the visit, he met with Egyptian Minister of Energy & Renewable Energy Mohamed Shaker and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Egyptian Nuclear Power Plant Administration (NPPA) Amged El-Wakil. They accompanied him on a tour of the site, where he assessed the status of the work underway, He also visited the seaport built specifically to serve the future station and heard reports on the progress of construction work at units 1-2 as well as preparatory work for unit 4.

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. First concrete for unit 3 was poured in May 2023. Construction of all four units is planned for completion by 2028-2029 and Egypt expects that the NPP will reach full capacity by 2030.

“Construction of the first three units … is proceeding in full accordance with the schedule,” said Likhachev. “Preparatory work is underway at the site of the fourth unit. Before the end of this year, we expect to receive a licence for the construction of unit 4 from the Egyptian Egyptian Nuclear & Radiological Regulatory Authority. After that, we will be able to pour the first concrete, which will mark the start of the main stage of the construction of unit. 4.”.

Likhachev and Shaker also attended the opening ceremony of the administrative building of the NPPA, built at the El-Dabaa site.

Shaker noted that relations between Egypt and Russia dated back to the 1950s. In addition, it was the Soviet Union that delivered the Egypt’s first research reactor, launched in 1961.

Amged El-Wakil said NPPA is determined to make every effort to launch the NPP in compliance with all nuclear safety criteria and on schedule. He noted that the first large-scale nuclear component for unit 1, the core catcher, which was delivered in March, is to be installed in October.

Image courtesy of Rosatom

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