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Russia expands nuclear project in Egypt

The project is intended to help the country diversify its energy resources

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Russian state-owned energy giant Rosatom has begun building a third reactor at the El-Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) in Egypt, the company’s press service announced this week. The four-reactor El-Dabaa plant is located around 300km northwest of Cairo on the Mediterranean coast. The project was launched in 2017, and construction works started in 2022. The planned four nuclear reactors for the plant are expected to operate at a full capacity of 4.8 GW by 2030, according to RT News.

The construction of Unit 3 commenced this week with the pouring of the first concrete, following the issuance of permits in March by the Egyptian Nuclear and Radiological Regulatory Authority.

“The project is progressing in accordance with the agreed time schedules and we are here to witness … the dedication of the teams who worked towards this common goal,” the regulatory authority stated.

El-Dabaa will be Egypt’s first NPP and the first such facility on the African continent built with Russian technology. It is also the largest joint Russian-Egyptian project since the construction of the Aswan Dam, according to Rosatom.

READ MORE: Russia and Egypt start new nuclear reactor construction

In addition to Rosatom, major Egyptian contractors are also involved in building the plant. The project is jointly financed by Moscow and Cairo. The Russian government is providing 85% of the $30 billion cost in the form of a state loan, while the rest is being funded by Egypt. Under the terms of the deal signed by the two countries, Rosatom will supply nuclear fuel for the plant for its 60-year design lifetime and will carry out maintenance and repairs for ten years after the launch of each reactor.

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