Egypt has finalized a deal with Russia to build a nuclear power plant with funding from Moscow after nearly two years of negotiations, The Associated Press reported Monday, citing Russian media.
The reports came after Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in China, where they were attending a summit.
The nuclear plant will be built in Dabaa, located about 130 kilometers (80 miles) northwest of Cairo on the Mediterranean coast, according to AP.
Egypt’s presidency said Sisi invited Putin to Egypt to mark the start of construction.
In 2015, Egypt signed an agreement with Russia to build a four-reactor power plant, the report noted. It will receive a $25 billion Russian loan to cover 85 per cent of the plant, with a capacity of 4,800 MW.
Russia has in the past also signed a $10 billion deal with Jordan to build the kingdom’s first nuclear power plant.
When the deal was signed, also in 2015, Jordanian media reported that the kingdom plans to finish construction of the plant in Amra by 2022.
Russia also signed agreements with Iran to build at least two more nuclear power plants on the Islamic Republic’s southern Gulf shores, in the city of Bushehr.
Russia to lend Egypt $25 billion to build nuclear power plant
Egypt and Russia signed an agreement on Nov. 19 for Russia to build Egypt’s first nuclear power plant in Egypt and to extend Egypt a loan to cover the cost of construction.
It was not clear at the time what the deal was worth, but Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said the loan would be paid off over 35 years.
Egypt will pay an interest rate of 3 percent annually, according to the country’s official gazette. Installment payments will begin on Oct. 15, 2029.
“The loan will be used by the Egyptian side for a period of 13 years between 2016-2028 … the Egyptian side will repay loan amounts used over 22 years in 43 installments,” the gazette said.
The loan will finance 85 percent of the value of each contract for the work, services and equipment shipping, the gazette said. Egypt will finance the remaining 15 percent.
The plant will be built in Dabaa, a site in the north of the country that Egypt has been considering for a nuclear power plant on and off since the 1980s. It is due to be completed in 20022, and the first of its four reactors is expected to begin producing power in 2024.
Egypt, with a population of 90 million and vast energy requirements, is seeking to diversify its energy sources. As well as a nuclear plant, Sisi has talked of building solar and wind energy facilities in the coming three years to generate around 4,300 megawatts of power.
The country also recently discovered a large reserve of natural gas off the Mediterranean coast.