Construction of Egypt’s nuclear plant to start in mid-2016
Nuclear reactor - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO:  Construction of Egypt’s first nuclear plant will start in mid-2016 and last for five years, an Egyptian official said Tuesday.

Russia, China and South Korea are competing to win a tender to build the first phase of the project, the official, who refused to be named as he is not authorized to speak to media, told Youm7. However, he noted that the Russian offer has more benefits in its favor.

The first phase of the project will include building two nuclear-operated facilities to produce electricity with a capacity of 950 to 1,600 megawatts each. The project will be constructed in four phases.

In 1981, Egypt allocated the Dabaa area in Matrouh governorate, 183.9 miles from Cairo on the North Coast, to build its first nuclear 55-kilometer-square plant. Construction, however, has been stalled since then.

In November 2014, President Sisi allocated a 2,300-acre tract for building an urban settlement in Dabaa for the workers and locals.

Russia and Egypt signed in January a memorandum of understanding in the nuclear field; the Russian Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation, one of the international bidders, announced Feb. 27 it is looking at investments in the nuclear industry in Egypt.

In February, a Russian delegation visited the Dabaa site, state-owned T.V. reported.

Additional reporting by Rahma Ramadan

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