Russia's State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom has started the construction of Egypt's first nuclear power plant in El Dabaa, Matrouh Governorate.

Iran PressAfrica: The construction of the El-Dabaa nuclear power plant is reportedly a great strategic achievement for our country and the Egyptian Atomic Energy Authority (EAEA).

Over the recent decades, the diversification of energy resources has been a major goal for the Egyptian government.

Rosatom received its permit from Egypt to start construction work on June 29, while on July 20 the first concrete slab foundation of what will be nuclear power unit No. 1 was poured in El Dabaa, about 300 km northwest of Cairo.

Director General of Rosatom Alexei Likhachev and Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy of Egypt Mohammed Shaker visited the construction site and inaugurated the works.

The El Dabaa NPP is meant to be the cornerstone of Egypt's energy diversification policy, allowing Cairo not only to cover its own electricity needs but also to provide energy to its neighbors.

Egypt invested 355 billion Egyptian pounds ($18.77 billion) in energy projects between 2014 and 2021. The implementation of the El Dabaa project will cost Cairo about $25 billion. These expenditures are justified, according to Cairo. Currently, Egypt produces 30,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity; the new nuclear plant will provide an additional 4,800 MW of clean energy.

Egypt expects that the construction of two power units of the NPP will be completed this year. Once the nuclear power plant is put into operation, Cairo will consider the construction of another atomic station, the Egyptian officials have emphasized.

"Rosatom will build the most modern power units under the VVER-1200 project in the Arab Republic of Egypt," the Rosatom director general said. "We have already accumulated experience in the construction and operation of nuclear power plants with such reactors both in Russia and abroad. The construction of a nuclear power plant will allow Egypt to reach a new level of technology, industry, and education. This will be the largest project of Russian-Egyptian cooperation since the construction of the Aswan Dam. Nuclear power has been a dream for the Egyptian people for more than half a century, and it is a great honor for Rosatom to make this dream come true."

The VVER, or "the water-water energetic reactor," is a series of unique pressurized water reactors originally created by the Soviet Union, and further developed by Russia.

VVER-1200 is a state-of-the-art Generation 3+ project that meets all post-Fukushima safety standards and regulations adopted by the IAEA, EUR, and WENRA, according to the corporation.

The capacity of one NPP power unit is 1,200 MW. It was designed on the basis of VVER-1000 reactors, which were built in the 1990s and 2000s and successfully implemented in the Bushehr NPP (Iran), the Kudankulam NPP (India), and the Tianwan NPP (China). Belarus' first nuclear power plant also exploits the Russian VVER project. The 2,400 MW-capacity Belarusian NPP is equipped with two VVER-1200 reactors.