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Egyptian, Uzbek nuclear power plans discussed
2018-10-25

Vladimir Putin has this week discussed plans to build Egypt and Uzbekistan's first nuclear power plants with his counterparts in those countries, Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

Presidents Putin and Sisi holding talks in Sochi (Image: Kremlin)

Egypt and Russia signed an intergovernmental agreement in November 2015 to collaborate in the construction and operation of four 1200 MWe units. The plant will be built at El Dabaa, in Matrouh Governorate on the Mediterranean coast, 250km west of Alexandria.

The Russian president hosted Sisi for two days of talks at his residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on 16-17 October. During a press briefing at the end of their talks, Putin said they had discussed in detail bilateral cooperation in the energy sector. The Kremlin published a transcript of the briefing.

Putin said: “The construction of a Russian-designed nuclear power plant in Egypt by Rosatom is a major joint project in this industry. Preparatory work at the site is under way. Contracts will be signed with Egyptian companies before the end of the year, and these companies will be the contractors.”

Sisi noted the achievements from Russian-Egyptian relations over the last four years, “above all” the agreement to build the El-Dabaa nuclear power plant.

“I believe that this project will without a doubt become a breakthrough in the relations between our countries, like the project to create a Russian industrial zone in the eastern city of Port Said. I think this project will bring the cooperation between our countries to the stage of joint production instead of just trade. And I am confident that this project’s implementation will make a real breakthrough in the volume and quality of Russia’s direct investment in Egypt,” Sisi said.

Ria Novosti reported on 12 October that Rosatom plans to train 2000 Egyptian technicians to work on operating and maintaining the plant. Citing Rosatom Vice President Gregory Sosnin, the Russian news agency said an Egyptian-Russian working group for the project had held talks on organising the training of personnel.

Sosnin also said Rosatom would announce the first tender for construction work at the end of this year and that it plans to sign contracts with the winning subcontractors in the first quarter of 2019.

GE Power, the US energy technology company owned by General Electric, announced earlier this month that it had won the contract to deliver the turbine island equipment for the El Dabaa project through AAEM, its joint venture with Russia's Atomenergomash.

Following his meeting today in Tashkent with Mirziyoyev, Putin said “special attention” should be paid to the energy sector where Russia and Uzbekistan “have good prospects”.

Putin said: “First of all, Rosatom has a major project to build the first nuclear power station in Uzbekistan, as we agreed last year during Mr President’s state visit to Moscow. Today, Mr President and I will launch this project’s implementation. In fact, this is not only about building a large industrial facility in Uzbekistan, but about creating a new industry, a new sector of the economy.”

Presidents Putin and Mirziyoyev launch the Uzbek nuclear power plant project (Image: Kremlin)

He added: “The power station’s two energy units with a total capacity of 2.4 MW will provide for cheap and clean electricity, which will be used by consumers in Uzbekistan and other Central Asian countries. This will promote energy stability in Uzbekistan and the entire region. Let me stress that the most advanced technologies and efficient and reliable engineering solutions will be used in the construction of the nuclear power station, which will be carried out in compliance with the highest safety and environmental requirements.”

The Associated Press said the proposed plant is to be in the Navoi region of central Uzbekistan and start operating in 2028.

Uzbekistan is the world’s seventh-ranking uranium supplier and has one operating research reactor, the WWR-SM, but it has no nuclear power plant.

  
 
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