Egypt’s $25bn Russian Nuclear Loan Raises Questions Of Economics And Transparency

Egypt’s President ‘Abd al Fattah al-Sisi has issued a decree approving a $25bn loan from Russia to fund the construction of four 1.2GW nuclear reactors by Russian state firm Rosatom at Dabaa, 170km west of Alexandria on Egypt’s Mediterranean coast.

Egypt signed the agreement to develop the plants with Rosatom last November in a flurry of optimism, with Rosatom director-general Sergey Kirienko describing it as the biggest Egyptian/Russian joint project “since the Aswan Dam.”

MEGA-MEGA PROJECT

However, there were concerns that the deal was motivated more by prestige than power supply issues (MEES, 27 November 2015). And the eye-watering $29.4bn price tag makes former president Nasser’s flagship 1960s project look cheap.


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