Ahram Online reports that President Sisi has asked top government officials to finalize legal and technical procedures related to a Russian bid to build a nuclear power plant in Dabaa, on Egypt’s north coast.
Sisi met with Prime Minister, Sherif Ismail, and Minister of Electricity, Mohamed Shaker to discuss final plans for construction of a nuclear power plant in Dabaa by the Russian nuclear agency Rosatom. The meeting discussed financial, technical and safety issues related to the plant, reports State Information Service
A statement from the presidency read that “both the electricity and the finance ministers displayed the benefits of the Russian nuclear power plant… The president asked officials to complete the final procedures in order to approve the Russian offer and launch the construction of the project officially.”
In October , Rosatom announced that discussions were in final stages, with an agreement expected by the end of the year. Construction is expected to be completed by 2022.
In an interview with Daily News Egypt during the bidding process last year, Electricity Ministry Nuclear Affairs and Energy Adviser Ibrahim Al-Osery estimated that the project will cost $8b and require a loan from the Russian government. Al-Osery estimated the Dabaa project to be able to provide up to 50 percent of Egypt’s electrical power.
The announcement comes at a murky time for Egypt-Russia relations. Ties between the two states have been increasing for much of the past year, but with the crash of a Russian airliner in the Sinai on October 31st, tensions have increased. The Russian decision to suspend flights to and from Egypt and to ban EgyptAir flights beginning November 14th has been met with strong criticism in Egypt.