Nuclear Energy in Egypt

Temiloluwa Bolodeoku
March 27, 2021

Submitted as coursework for PH241, Stanford University, Winter 2021


Fig. 1: Map of Egypt showing the location of the proposed El Dabaa nuclear power plant. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Egypt is one of the nations in the middle-east. It is known for its long river River Nile, which is celebrated as the longest river in Africa. Egypt is a country with a high capability of common assets: valuable stones, oil, coal, natural gas, and large fossil fuel energy reserve sources. Approximately, Egypt has an estimated 77,200 billion cubic meters of natural gas reserves, and 4189 billion barrels of oil reserves as the stores of such energy reserves exist in both mainland and coastal stores. [1]

Following the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), Egypt, is the third largest dry natural gas producer in Africa following Algeria and Nigeria. Egypt is known as the biggest non-OPEC oil maker in the continent. [2]

The Need for Nuclear Energy

While 90% of the Egyptian produced power comes just from oil and petroleum gas, the serious issue that Egypt experiences, particularly in the energy-area is the unique increase of its populace, which is assessed to increase by around 1.3% each year. This increase in population figures subsequently expands request for energy, which in the long run, increases demand, thereby quickens the rate of exhausting the nation's major resources. [3]

Ahmed Emam, the former Egyptian minister of power in 2013, has characterized the shift to developing Nuclear Energy as "important" due to a modest quantity of sustainable power sources and insufficient fuel. On 7 November 2013, Egypt former President, President Adly Mansour declared that Egypt was restarting its nuclear power program in El Dabaa. The government made an arrangement with its citizens where a neighborhood will likewise be built.

The History of Nuclear Energy in Egypt

In 1954, Egypt began its nuclear energy project program as the primary research reactor ETRR-1 was obtained from the Soviet Union (present day Russia) in 1958. [4] In 1964, a 150 MW of electrical power generated from a thermal energy plant was proposed, trailed by a 600 MW proposition in 1974. Likewise, the Nuclear Power Plants Authority (NPPA) was set up in 1976, and in 1983 the El Dabaa site on the Mediterranean coast was selected.

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1968, was signed by Egypt, however, deferred sanctioning it because they proved that Israel had embraced atomic weapons. [5] Subsequently, Egypt lost large numbers of its nuclear specialists and researchers who needed to venture out abroad to look for work openings. Some of them joined the Iraqi atomic program and others emigrated to Canada and Egypt's atomic plans were frozen after the Chernobyl accident. [6]

In 1992 Egypt procured a 22 MW research reactor ETRR-2 from Argentina. In 2006, Egypt declared it would restore its nuclear program, and in 10 years, construct a 1,000 MW thermal energy plant at El Dabaa. It was assessed to cost US $1.5bn, and it would be developed with the support of unfamiliar investors. [7]

El Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant

In November 2015 and March 2017 Egypt consented to starter arrangements with Russian nuclear organization ROSATOM for a first VVER-1200 unit at El Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant to begin in 2024. El Dabaa thermal energy station (NPP), which will be Egypt's first thermal energy station, is being created in Matrouh Governorate on the Mediterranean coast, 210 km west of Alexandria (see Fig. 1). [2]

Russia will finance around 85% of the development cost of the El Dabaa atomic force project. It will give a $25 billion advance, under a financing arrangement endorsed between the Ministry of Finance of Egypt and the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation. The credit is repayable over a time of 22 years at a loan fee of 3% per year. The leftover 15% will be raised by Egypt from private financial backers. [8]


Egypt has an opportunity to excel with Nuclear Energy. The plans laid out for public view seems feasible, however, the world is watching to see what will become of the energy program. Hopefully, we will not see a deferment as we did in the past.

© Temiloluwa Bolodeoku. The author warrants that the work is the author's own and that Stanford University provided no input other than typesetting and referencing guidelines. The author grants permission to copy, distribute and display this work in unaltered form, with attribution to the author, for noncommercial purposes only. All other rights, including commercial rights, are reserved to the author.


[1] S. Obukhov and A. Ibrahim, "Analysis of the Energy Potential of Renewable Energy Sources Egypt," MATEC Web Conf. 141 01035 (2017).

[2] S. Shay, "The Egypt-Russia Nuclear Deal," Institute for Policy and Strategy, November 2015.

[3] B. M. Atlam and A. M Rapiea, "Assessing the Future of Energy Security in Egypt," Int. J. Energy Econ. Policy 6, 684 (2016).

[4] U. Al-Mulali and C. N. C. Sab, "Energy Consumption, Pollution and Economic Development in 16 Emerging Countries," J. Econ. Stud. 40, 686 (2013).

[5] G. Bahgat, "Nuclear Proliferation: Egypt," Middle Eastern Stud. 43, 409 (2007).

[6] D. A. Cauich-López et al., "Egypt and Nuclear Energy: Aspects, Reasons and Future," IOP Conf. Ser.: Earth Environ. Sci. 337, 012081 (2019).

[7] "Egypt Unveils Nuclear Power Plan," BBC News, 25 Sep 06.

[8] S. M. Hickey, S. Malkawi, and A. Khalil, "Nuclear Power in the Middle East: Financing and Geopolitics in the State Nuclear Power Programs of Turkey, Egypt, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates," Energy Res. Soc. Sci. 74, 101961 (2021).