Egypt considering 4GW nuclear power partnership

16 March 2015

Cairo is planning strategic partnership rather than competitive tender for first project

  • Egypt is planning to develop 4GW for first nuclear project
  • Cairo wants to develop the initial programme through a partnership
  • Project is part of Electricity & Energy Ministry’s plans to develop 54GW of new capacity by 2022

Egypt is considering plans to develop up to 4GW of nuclear power through a strategic partnership, according to the Electricity & Energy Minister.

Speaking at the Egypt Economic Development Conference (EEDC), Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker said the government was “very serious about nuclear power”, and was planning to build 2-4GW for the country’s first nuclear programme.

Shaker said if plans move ahead, Cairo would procure the plant through a strategic partnership, rather than through a competitive tendering process.

In February, Egypt’s President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to cooperate on nuclear power.

Egypt was one of the first countries in the world to consider using nuclear energy for power. In 1955, it set up its Atomic Energy Commission, which became the Atomic Energy Authority the following year.

Cairo made its first serious moves toward nuclear power in the 1980s and by 1985, the Nuclear Power Plant Authority (NPPA) had received bids for the main construction contracts to build a nuclear power plant at El-Dabaa, 160 kilometres west of Alexandria. However, the plans were shelved following the Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine in 1986.

The country’s nuclear programme has been given fresh impetus following the election of Al-Sisi in May 2014. In his presidential inauguration speech on 9 June 2014, Al-Sisi announced that the El-Dabaa nuclear project was a key government priority.

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