The El-Dabaa nuclear plant drilling equipment and machinery are scheduled to arrive on Wednesday to lay down the foundations of excavations in cooperation with authorities, said Shatrov Stanislav, head of Russian experts and executive director of the El-Dabaa site.
Stanislav added that all shipping operations have been arranged and equipment customs have been completed in order to begin the setup process and the actual implementation to finalise the whole process as soon as possible.
Sergey Kiriyenko, head of Russia’s state-owned nuclear firm Rosatom, along with a Russian delegation, signed the El-Dabaa nuclear plant deal with the Egyptian government in Cairo’s Itihadiya palace last week.
The plant is expected to be completed in 12 years and will consist of four nuclear power units, 1,200 MW each. The plant will be located at an existing nuclear site in El-Dabaa on the Mediterranean coast, west of Alexandria.
Stanislav confirmed that the contract can be considered the latest leap in relations between the two countries. He added that nuclear plants seem to be the guarantor of long-term work, which may take nearly 12 years.
Stanislav affirmed that there will be more cooperation through the stages of implementation of the project, and an agreement could be reached on the implementation of other projects in various fields that will benefit both Egypt and Russia.
Stanislav added that another team of Russian specialists will arrive and join the project team on 1 December. It is composed of 10 experts and they are assigned to accomplish geological tasks, and a third team of experts will take over other duties after a year.
In a televised speech following the signature of the deal, Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi said the cost of the station would be covered by a loan that will last for 35 years through the period of electricity production from the El-Dabaa station.
Al-Sisi clarified that Egypt is committed to the international conventions prohibiting proliferation of nuclear weapons and nuclear plants. He further affirmed that the project is “for peaceful purposes”, and Egypt has always had the dream of creating a peaceful nuclear programme.
Al-Sisi added that the project is the first step towards Egypt’s future plans that will require more cooperation in the nuclear industry with other countries.
All countries in the Middle East, except for Israel, are parties to the 1970 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, whose 191 signatories have agreed to nuclear disarmament for countries with nuclear weapons, non-proliferation in those that do not have them, and the peaceful use of nuclear energy worldwide.
Egypt suggested the idea for a weapons-of-mass-destruction-free zone in the Middle East in 1990 and has been calling since then for nuclear disarmament and the elimination of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East.