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El-Dabaa: Egypt’s First Ever Nuclear Power Plant

November 2, 2023
Photo credit: Daily News Egypt
Photo credit: Daily News Egypt

An increasing demand for energy and electricity due to a continuously growing population, insufficient primary energy sources, and limited potable water resources are only some of the reasons Egypt embarked on a journey to establish its first nuclear energy plant: El-Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant.

As the name suggests, El-Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant is being built 6 kilometres away from El-Dabaa town in the Egyptian governorate of Matrouh.

Once it is fully operational by 2031, the plant is expected to power approximately four million Egyptian homes, and eliminate nearly 14 million tonnes of carbon emissions per annum.

That being said, nuclear power is a low-emission source of electricity. It accounts for almost 10 percent of electricity generation globally.

Set to be the first of its kind to produce nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in Egypt, El-Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant will comprise four pressurized water reactors (PWRs) with a total capacity of 4.8 gigawatts, 1,200 megawatts each. This is expected to account for up to 50 percent of Egypt’s total power generation capacity.

The funding for the project was split between Egypt and Russia. Under a 22-year repayment loan worth USD 25 billion, Russia will fund approximately 85 percent of the construction cost of the project, and the remaining 15 percent will be raised by private investors from Egypt.

Despite being selected as a nuclear power generation site in 1983, the Egyptian revolution and multiple political and economic factors delayed and even halted the construction of the project. It was only until 2015, when an intergovernmental agreement was signed between Egypt and Russia, that the project gained momentum.

The project is expected to raise net revenues worth USD 264 billion.

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