Egypt confirms site for its first nuclear plant

August 28, 2010 - 0:0

CAIRO (Reuters) -- Egypt has picked a site on the Mediterranean coast for its first nuclear power plant, part of a plan by the Arab world’s most populous state to shift away from oil and gas, the official news agency Mena said on Wednesday.

Egypt, which aims to start an international bidding process for its first plant this year, plans several nuclear plants and last year signed a deal with Australia’s WorleyParsons for a nuclear power consultancy.
President Hosni Mubarak gave his seal of approval to the Dabaa site on the country’s north coast, Mena reported, after Electricity Minister Hassan Younes had earlier said studies concluded that the location was the most suitable.
Officials say Egypt’s combined oil and gas reserves will last roughly three decades, encouraging a shift to alternative energy sources, including nuclear and solar. Egypt already has wind farms in operation on its eastern Red Sea coast.
Egypt aims to set up four nuclear plants by 2025, with the first to start operating in 2019.
The nuclear program could add capacity of up to 4,000 megawatts (MW) by 2025, officials say. Egypt now has installed capacity of about 23,500 MW, but is straining to meet demand during an unusually hot summer, leading to intermittent power cuts across the grid. Egypt has said it aims to add an additional 58,000 MW of capacity to the grid by 2027.