By Toqa Ezzidin
The first unit of the El-Dabaa nuclear plant will start generating electricity in 2024, said Prime Minister Sherif Ismail during his speech at the launching ceremony of the East Port Said harbour development project on Saturday.
Egypt signed the nuclear plant agreement earlier this month with state-owned Russian nuclear company Rosatom.
According to several nuclear and environmental experts, the nuclear reactors are cheaper compared to other clean sources of energy, such as solar energy, which is rather expensive.
Moscow will finance the nuclear plant project and Egypt will repay the loan over a period of 35 years.
Following the signing of the agreement, Al-Sisi said Egypt will repay the loan using profits from the electricity generated from the plant.
Al-Sisi added that that the El-Dabaa nuclear plant agreement confirms the strong and strategic relations between Egypt and Russia.
Egypt has been dealing with an energy crisis for several years. The crisis caused numerous blackouts and power outages for prolonged periods.
Talks of nuclear projects with Russia began in the 1960s, during Gamal Abdel Nasser’s era, but the project was dismissed due to the 1967 war.
Following the 1973 war, Egypt and the US signed an agreement, but it was also dismissed after the US attempted to impose political conditions that were deemed unacceptable by former president Anwar El-Sadat.
In the 1980s, Egypt agreed with France to establish a nuclear plant, but the project was dismissed following the Chernobyl disaster.