In North Africa, the Egyptian electricity and renewable energy minister, Mohamed Shaker el-Markabi and the head of Russia’s Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation, Sergey Kiriyenko, signed two agreements for the funding and development of Egypt’s first nuclear power plant (NPP).
The signing took place in Cairo on Thursday during a televised ceremony, which was attended by the Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, PressTV reported.
Nuclear was always on the table
El-Sisi commented: “For a long time, Egypt has dreamt of having a peaceful nuclear programme for the production of electricity.”
The selected site for the nuclear power plant is in the North-West of the country and will comprise of four 1,2000MW nuclear reactors.
In February, Egypt’s federal government announced that they had entered into an agreement with Russia to develop the country’s first nuclear power plant, which has an estimated cost of $20 million (ZAR252 million).
At the time, Kiriyenko said: “This is comprehensive cooperation. Moreover, it presumes that Russia will also provide relevant financial support in the form of an intergovernmental loan.”
According to PressTV, the first deal states that Russia will be responsible for the development of the NPP, while the second confirms that Moscow will supply Egypt with a 35-year construction loan.
This partnership will enable the development of Egypt’s local working force who will have the ability to get practical experience and training in how to successfully operate and maintain a NPP.
In other nuclear news, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has said that Africa’s hesitation towards adopting nuclear technology is due to a lack of knowledge and understanding around the benefits of the technology’s application.
The IAEA is willing to support African countries who are interested in procuring safe and secure nuclear energy to meet development needs.
Yukiya Amano, director general of the IAEA, said in an earlier statement: “Access to nuclear technology should not be limited to rich countries only and the IAEA is here as a reliable partner to help with expertise in all aspects of nuclear technology”.
A keen interest in nuclear power generation has been demonstrated by Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Sudan, Tunisia and Uganda.