Russian nuclear power gains will benefit both sides

20 October 2015

Competitive market will benefit region’s clients

The impending award of contracts to Russian state nuclear provider Rosatom to build Egypt’s first nuclear power plant is the latest sign of Russia’s growing strength in the Middle East’s emerging nuclear power market.

After completing the region’s first Nuclear Power Plant in Iran in 2013, Moscow has since agreed to build Jordan’s first nuclear power plant facility and is on the verge of signing final agreements to develop the 4GW El-Dabaa nuclear power plant in Egypt.

While it is the South Koreans that are building the UAE’s first nuclear facility, Moscow will still provide uranium enrichment services for fuel, and are keen to be involved with any future opportunities in the GCC’s nascent nuclear market.

With the Russian economy feeling the strains from western sanctions and China’s continuing economic woes, Moscow is keen to strengthen its role in the Middle East. While the initiation of airstrikes in Syria in support of President Bashar al-Assad has strengthened its political position, Moscow has prioritised nuclear power as a key opportunity and area of economic growth in the region.

While its growing foothold in the Middle East’s nuclear power sector will please Moscow, it should also benefit governments in the region planning to integrate nuclear power into their energy strategies.

With South Korea and Russia already active in the market, and the French and US and Japan having signed nuclear cooperation agreements with Saudi Arabia, regional governments pursuing atomic energy will have a considerable list of established nuclear providers to select from. A competitive market will ensure that clients get the best deal possible.

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