CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt will sign contracts with Moscow during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Cairo on Monday for the country’s first nuclear power plant, three senior sources told Reuters on Sunday.
The construction of the 4,800 megawatt (MW) capacity plant, which is supposed to be built at Dabaa in the north of the country, is expected to be completed within seven years, added the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry told Russia Today in an interview on Saturday that “they have completed several stages” of the plant and “soon” it will be finished.
Moscow and Cairo signed an agreement in 2015 for Russia to build a nuclear power plant in Egypt, with Russia extending a loan to Egypt to cover the cost of construction.
Egypt’s official gazette said last year the loan was worth $25 billion and would finance 85 percent of the value of each work contract, services and equipment shipping. Egypt would fund the remaining 15 percent.
The trial operation of the first nuclear reactor is expected to take place in 2022.
Egypt, with a population of nearly 104 million and vast energy needs, wants to diversify its energy sources.
The nuclear plant is expected not to just cover the country’s energy needs, but to produce excess which can be exported, the sources told Reuters on Sunday.
Putin is scheduled to visit Cairo on Monday to meet with his counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, where they will discuss bilateral relations, trade and Middle Eastern issues, the Kremlin said last week.
Reporting by Momen Abdelkhalek; Writing by Amina Ismail; Editing by Toby Chopra