Russia’s St Petersburg Research and Investigations Institute Energoizyskaniya (SPb NIII EIZ) on 24 May announced a bid for field and laboratory borehole seismic surveys at the El Dabaa NPP site in Egypt. According to the procurement documents, the initial (maximum) price of the contract is estimated at RUB34.6m ($516,777). The bids must be completed by 25 July. The purpose of the contract is to produce input data describing engineering and geological conditions at the location of the foundations of El Dabaa’s four reactors. The data are necessary to generate the project documentation. Work relating to units 1 and 2, including preparation of the technical report, should be completed before 3 October 2016 and for units 3 and 4 by 30 October 2017.

Earlier in May, Egyptian president Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi approved the intergovernmental agreement on provision of a Russian state loan of $25bn for construction the NPP. The agreement on the Russian export loan, signed in November 2015, stipulates that it will cover 85% of costs of NPP construction with Egypt supplying 15%. Repayments will begin after the plant is commissioned. A source at Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom told journalists that the contract for construction of the NPP and nuclear fuel deliveries will be signed during 2016. The cost of a package deal [construction and fuel deliveries] could exceed $30bn, he specified. Earlier reports put the construction cost at over $26bn.