Russia’s Research and Investigations Institute Energoizyskaniya in St Petersburg has called for bids to undertake hydrologic studies in the Mediterranean in the region of Egypt’s planned El Dabaa nuclear power plant.

The initial (maximum) price of the contract is set at RUB19,999,966 ($256,740). The bidding results will be released on 5 February. The work must be completed within four months of the contract signing. The work includes observations of sea level and pressure parameters, and sampling of soil and water.

Russia and Egypt signed an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the construction and operation of four 1200MWe VVER units in November last year. The signing of the general contract for the construction of the units is expected in the first quarter of this year. However, preliminary work on unit 1 of the plant began in early January. Russia has issued Egypt with the first tranche of a $25bn loan for the project, representing 85% of the total cost of the plant.