The Russian nuclear energy giant Rosatom announced the launch of construction of Egypt’s first nuclear power plant, “the largest Russian-Egyptian cooperation project since the Aswan Dam,” with an estimated 25 billion euros, according to local newspapers.
A statement issued by the Russian group revealed that the Egyptian Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker and Rosatom head Alexei Likhachev poured the concrete slab that will serve as the foundation for the El Dabaa plant in the country’s north.
In early May, Rosatom lost one of the largest industrial projects involving a Russian group in the European Union when a consortium of Finnish companies canceled a contract with Rosatom after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Egypt, on the other hand, appears to be sticking to its 2015 plan to become a civilian nuclear power.
In 2017, Egypt and Russia agreed to build four reactors with a total capacity of 1,200 megawatts each.
The new Egyptian nuclear program is one of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s “mega projects,” along with the “new capital” 50 kilometers from Cairo.
According to Egyptian media, the project will cost around 25 billion euros. Moscow contributes to the financing through a loan to Egyptian authorities.
The announcement comes as Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov prepares to travel to Cairo on Sunday to deliver a speech to the Arab League.