Three Egyptian companies win tender for Dabaa nuclear plant

Atomstroyexport, a subsidiary of Russia’s state-owned Rosatom, announced on Sunday that three Egyptian contracting companies won a tender offer for the construction of the first phase of Egypt’s Dabaa nuclear power plant, set to be finished in 2022.

Sources with the Nuclear Power Plants Authority anticipate work on the first nuclear unit at the Dabaa nuclear plant to commence by mid-2020, once construction licenses from concerned authorities are obtained.

The three Egyptian companies that competed among 10 others to win the bid were Petrojet, Hassan Allam, and the Arab Contractors. Atomstroyexport, meanwhile, plans to issue another tender this year to complete the rest of construction work, the company added.

Rosatom has said it is keen to involve local Egyptian companies in the project, with Egyptian companies selected through tenders that adhere to the utmost integrity and transparency, Atomstroyexport’s statement said.

Atomstroyexport, Vice President Grigory Sosnin and the director of the Dabaa nuclear project have agreed that “the presence of local companies is one of our utmost priorities, and therefore we are keen on the use of local suppliers in all of our projects.”

Earlier this month, Atomstroyexpor organized a training course for Egyptian engineers in the western Russian city of Kursk, concerning construction of the nuclear power plant Kursk II in Russia, which began in 2018, and plans for the upcoming Dabaa nuclear power plant.

Commenting on the program, Oleg Yakovlev, Deputy Director for Construction and Erection Works of ASE JSC Branch in Egypt, said: “The more time we spend together, (and) the more we discuss various construction stages, the better we understand each other and all the technical aspects of construction.”

Meanwhile, dependence on Egyptian companies during the process of building the plant will go up by 20 percent with the construction of each reactor unit, especially as local companies gain experience.

Sources with Egypt’s Nuclear Power Plants Authority (NPPA) expected that work on the Dabaa nuclear plant will commence in mid-2020, after obtaining construction licenses.

According to the sources, “The nuclear project goes through three stages; the first is the preparatory phase that started (in) December 2017, lasts for about two and a half years, and aims to equip and prepare the site for the construction of the nuclear plant; the second (stage) includes construction and training workers and preparations to start operating tests as well as obtaining construction permits.”

The third phase includes construction and pre-operation tests and the official opening of the plant, and will continue until the initial delivery of the first reactor unit, the sources said.

In December 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi signed a contract to begin work on the plant, according to Alexei Likhachev, Chief Executive Officer of Rosatom.

The plant is expected to be fully-built by 2022, and Russia has agreed to loan Egypt $25 billion to finance building and operating the plant, with Egypt having agreed to pay an interest rate of 3 percent annually. Installment payments will begin on October 15, 2029.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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