ARKANSAS, January 24 (Future Headlines)- Russian President Vladimir Putin and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi jointly inaugurated the construction of a new unit at Egypt’s Dabaa nuclear power plant via a video link. This significant development underscores Moscow’s commitment to advancing its global nuclear ambitions and solidifies the strategic partnership between Russia and Egypt. The Dabaa nuclear power plant, constructed by the Russian state corporation Rosatom, is a major project with a reported cost of $30 billion. The plant will comprise four power units, collectively boasting a capacity of 4.8 gigawatts.

The inauguration ceremony focused on the initiation of the construction of the fourth and final unit, according to Egyptian state media. President Putin highlighted the continued cooperation and development between the two countries, emphasizing Egypt’s status as a close friend and strategic partner for Russia. The collaboration is indicative of Russia’s growing influence in the global nuclear energy landscape.

Egypt, with a population of 105 million, is grappling with increasing power demand and seeks to position itself as a regional energy hub capable of exporting electricity to neighboring countries. Diversifying its energy sources is a key objective for Egypt, which has faced power cuts since last summer due to heatwaves driving up demand for cooling. Additionally, a decline in natural gas production, used for power generation, has compelled Egypt to burn more polluting fuel oil in certain power stations to maintain LNG exports—an essential source of foreign currency.

President Sisi stressed the importance of introducing nuclear energy into Egypt’s energy mix to meet the growing demand for electrical energy. The nuclear power plant at Dabaa represents a crucial step in addressing the country’s energy challenges and achieving energy security. The partnership between Russia and Egypt in the nuclear sector dates back to 2015 when both nations signed an agreement for Russia to build the Dabaa nuclear power plant. Russia extended a loan to cover the construction costs, facilitating the realization of this ambitious project. The Dabaa plant holds strategic importance for Egypt’s energy infrastructure and aligns with its broader goals of becoming a prominent player in the regional energy market.

Beyond Egypt, Russia is actively involved in nuclear projects worldwide, showcasing its global leadership in nuclear technology. Notable projects include the Kudankulam nuclear power project in India’s Tamil Nadu state, the Paks nuclear power plant in Hungary, and Turkey’s first nuclear power plant in Akkuyu. The Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom plays a pivotal role in advancing nuclear initiatives, extending its reach to countries like China and Bangladesh.

The joint inauguration of the Dabaa nuclear power plant unit highlights the collaborative efforts between Russia and Egypt in addressing energy needs and fostering sustainable development. As Russia continues to play a key role in shaping the global nuclear landscape, such partnerships contribute to the shared goals of meeting energy demand, ensuring security, and promoting technological advancements in the nuclear energy sector.

Editing by Sarah White