Kazan, May 10 – On May 10, Kazan hosted the Russia and Egypt: opportunities and prospects for cooperation’ round table held by the Russian-Egyptian Business Council (REBC). The Round table is taking place within the framework of the X International Economic Summit ‘Russia –Islamic World: KazanSummit 2018’, the key venue for economic cooperation between Russia and Islamic countries.
Among the round table’s participants were Ambassador extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Egypt to the Russian Federation lhab Nasr, Deputy Foreign Minister, Special representative of the Russian President for the Middle East Mikhail Bogdanov, as well as leading representatives of Egypt and Russia’s business community from various fields. Rosatom Middle East and North Africa Director Alexander Voronkov spoke on the subject of cooperation between Russia and Egypt in the nuclear field, noting the longstanding history of cooperation and scientific and cultural ties between Russia and the region’s countries including Egypt, where Rosatom is implementing the construction project of Egypt’s first NPP at El Dabaa. ‘Rosatom takes pride in its decades-long history of cooperation with Egypt in the nuclear sphere, where we have a special relationship going back to the 1960s, when a Russian research reactor was built in Egypt, where the first steps towards the development of Egypt’s national peaceful nuclear power programme were made. On top of that, a number of Egyptian nuclear specialists at the time benefited from the Soviet science and research school. The implementation of the El Dabaa project on the basis of Russian technologies is turning a new page in Russian-Egyptian relations and is certain to take them to a new level,’ Voronkov said.
He emphasized that the plant will be built on the basis of the serial VVER-1200 Generation 3+ project that complies with all the latest nuclear safety standards and that has proven itself in operation at Russian NPPs. ‘Last year, the world’s first Generation 3+ power unit was launched into commercial operation at the Novovoronezh-2 NPP, while this February the world’s second unit of the type was launched at the Leningrad-2 NPP. It is therefore doubtless that the El Dabaa NPP is going to be the safest nuclear power plant on the continent,’ Voronkov added.
He also noted that, in addition to clean power generation, the project’s implementation opens up wide-ranging prospects for Egypt’s social and economic development, ‘Nuclear power is a definite development driver for the entire country. It is not only a reliable zero-carbon energy source but also a significant boost for the economy. Building a nuclear power plant is such a large-scale project that it involves virtually all economy and industry fields. These include related industries, service industries, tourism, education and preparing personnel for Egypt’s nuclear industry. Importantly, Egyptian companies will be involved in the project at various construction stages. So far it’s already evident that, for the first unit of the El Dabaa NPP, the share of local companies in the project will amount to at least 20%, which is considered to be an extremely high level for a newcomer country, and it is obvious that it is going to increase with each subsequent unit.’