Cairo, 12th of July, 2021 - ROSATOM, a global technological leader , organized a focused media roundtable with the honorable presence of the Egyptian Nuclear Power Plants Authority (NPPA).
The event assembled journalists representing the leading Egyptian media. It was attended by Alexander Voronkov, director and regional vice-president of the Rosatom Regional Center in Middle East and North Africa, Dr. Hesham Hegazy, Head of Nuclear Fuel Sector at NPPA, Polina Lion, ROSATOM’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Dr. Yulia Chernyakhovskaya, Deputy Director General at ROSATOM Service JSC, and Dr. Grigory Sosnin, Vice President - Director of El-Dabaa NPP Construction Project of JSC ASE, general contractor of the construction at El Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant (NPP).
In fact, the aforementioned roundtable has been able to tackle a myriad of crucial topics that pinpointed ROSATOM’s unique capabilities and goals. That is to say, this enterprise’s 2030 long-term strategy prioritizes the sustainable development, hence places it as a key principle for its activities in all markets. Additionally, the spokespeople, present at this event, have discussed the nuclear energy’s role in achieving the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and nuclear infrastructure development. The media webinar also shed a light to recent updates in El Dabaa NPP’s development.
During the opening speech, Alexander Voronkov highlighted: “Stemming from ROSATOM's experience, we can say with complete confidence that the NPP is not only a source of environmentally friendly electricity generation, but also it is the largest infrastructure project that supports the development of various economy sectors and contributes to increasing the state’s income. The NPP is considered one of the most important drivers of sustainable development, a source of employment and stable development at the level of the region and the whole country.”
Speaking about sustainable development topic, Polina Lion pinpointed: “NPP project contributes to at least 6 UN SDGs. It is definitely low-carbon. It provides an affordable and long-term source of electricity. It supports local producers by bringing USD 3-4 bln of orders to local industries during construction period. It creates about 3,000 of new working places to work at NPP and more than 10,000 indirect jobs as per our estimates”. The speaker also highlighted that as a global company ROSATOM cares for its global impact. “That’s why we do really commit to the sustainability agenda and such a commitment is affirmed in Rosatom’ long-term strategy until 2030. In 2020 ROSATOM became a member of the UN Global Compact network. Nuclear technologies contribute to UN sustainable development goals and we do strongly believe that nuclear is well deserved to be qualified as a sustainable source of energy.
From his side, Dr. Hesham Hegazy talked about latest developments in El Dabaa NPP implementation. “Despite the pandemic restrictions that put on hold many international projects we have managed to reduce the effects of the Corona virus for El Dabaa NPP. Under the auspices of the political leadership, we continue to implement the successive commitments related to the project development. On June 29 Nuclear Power Plants Authority of Egypt handed over the licensing documentation for Units 1 and 2 of El Dabaa NPP construction to Egyptian Nuclear and Radiological Regulatory Authority (ENRRA). This marked an important milestone in the implementation of El Dabaa NPP Project in the path forward to issue the construction permit for first two units.”
In this context, Dr. Grigory Sosnin further explicated that El Dabaa NPP will have a positive impact on the industrial development of Egypt and will be a huge stimulus affecting Egypt's GDP in a great way. “As per our estimates, during the construction of the El Dabaa NPP only, the added value to the GDP of the Arab Republic of Egypt from the implementation of the Project will amount to about 4 billion US dollars per year. In addition to the energy system stability, new jobs will be created at all stages of the NPP life cycle, including companies involved in the supply chain. At the peak of construction work, the total number of construction and installation personnel will be about 25,000 people, including more than 11,000 skilled workers. At the same time, 70% of workers at the construction stage is planned to be the local population of Egypt. Speaking about climate change goals NPP will contribute to reducing Egypt's greenhouse gas emissions and meeting the objectives of Paris Climate Agreement. After NPP construction, annual emissions of greenhouse gases in the country will decrease by more than 14 million tons of CO2-eq».
It is worth mentioning, according to Dr. Yulia Chernyakhovskaya, that the implementation of the NPP construction project is proceeding in full compliance with IAEA safety requirements. “Once nuclear infrastructure is mature a NPP project can be implemented in a safe and efficient manner contributing to SDG achievement” – said Dr. Yulia.
At the end of the seminar journalists got detailed answers and comments to their questions during a Q&A session.