CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt plans to start an international bidding process for its first nuclear power plant in December, after choosing the Dabaa site on the Mediterranean coast, news papers reported on Friday.
The Arab world’s most populous country, which signed a deal with Australia’s WorleyParsons for a nuclear power consultancy last year, aims to set up four nuclear plants by 2025, with the first to start operating in 2019.
The nuclear programme could add capacity of up to 4,000 megawatts (MW) by 2025. Officials say Egypt’s combined oil and gas reserves will last about three decades, driving a shift to alternative energy sources including nuclear and solar.
“Work with the nuclear consultancy is ongoing to prepare international tender specifications to start the bidding process for the Dabaa site by December,” Yasin Ibrahim, head of Nuclear Plant Authority was quoted in state-newspaper Al-Akhbar.
Egypt confirmed the Dabaa site on the country’s north coast earlier this week. Other potential locations in Mersa Matruh, 240 km (149 miles) west of the port city of Alexandria, are being studied for future nuclear plant sites.
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 an additional 58,000 MW of capacity to the grid by 2027.