November 28, 2015 / 11:15 AM / 5 years ago

Egypt expects to start power output from 1st nuclear reactor by 2024

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt is due to start producing power from its first of four nuclear reactors by 2024, the country’s Prime Minister said on Saturday, nine days after it signed an agreement with Moscow to build a power plant to meet its rising energy needs.

On Nov. 19, Egypt said Russia will extend it a loan to cover the cost of constructing a nuclear power plant in Dabaa that is expected to be complete by 2022. Egypt had been considering a nuclear plant at Dabaa since the 1980s.

“The production capacity for each reactor is 1,200 megawatts... The first unit is due to start service in 2024,” Sherif Ismail said in a televised speech.

It is not clear how much the construction of the power plant will cost, but President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Nov. 19 that the country will pay back the loan to Russia over 35 years from the proceeds of electricity generated from the plant.

Ismail added that the expected lifespan of the plant is 60 years.

Egypt, with a population of 90 million and vast energy requirements, is seeking to diversify its energy sources.

Reporting by Omar Fahmy, writing by Asma Alsharif; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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