The implementation timetable for the Dabaa nuclear power plant project has been unaffected by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, said Amgad El-Wakeel, Head of the Nuclear Power Plants Authority (NPPA).
In exclusive statements to Daily News Egypt, El-Wakeel said that work on the project is currently proceeding remotely and through video conferencing.
“We are still in the pre-construction phase, and consultations with Russian officials are via video conference,” he added, “It is not true that anything would be postponed. Everything is going well.”
El-Wakeel added that the impact of the coronavirus on the Dabaa plant operations is very limited and ineffective. No tenders were put forward to implement tasks at the plant’s site, and precautions were taken to preserve the health and safety of all workers.
Egypt and Russia signed an agreement to establish the Dabaa nuclear power plant at a capacity of 4,800 MW with the most secure 3G technology, at a total cost of $30bn.
In December 2018, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, witnessed the agreement’s signing. This was for commencing the activation and implementation of contracts for the construction of four nuclear reactors in the Dabaa region.
The first reactor, primary reception and commercial operation are expected to be completed by 2026. The agreed programme includes the design and construction of nuclear fuel supply, consultation and maintenance services, and the management and treatment of fuel.
The Dabaa project consists of four nuclear reactors, with a capacity of 1200 MW each, for a total of 4,800 MW. The Russian Ministry of Finance made a financing loan available for the project’s establishment a value of $25bn, representing 85% of its value. President Al-Sisi agreed to the loan agreement, and it was published in the official newspaper in mid-May 2016
Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker said that the Dabaa nuclear plant is proceeding naturally, and the project needs time to be implemented. He said that there will be no cancellation of the contract, adding: “We have agreed on a timetable and we set the cost. We are continuing the project.”