Alexander Voronkov to Asharq Al-Awsat: Arab Region Not Aware Yet of Its Enormous Nuclear Potential
Alexander Voronkov, Regional Director of ROSATOM for the Middle East and North Africa, said that Arab countries should benefit more from peaceful nuclear energy technology.
In exclusive remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, Voronkov noted that the region was “not yet aware of its enormous potential in energy and nuclear technology.”
He expressed the Russian giant’s readiness to support Arab countries in this regard.
ROSATOM, which specializes in nuclear energy and is owned by the Russian state, is working to inaugurate the first nuclear power plant in Egypt, in the city of Dabaa on the shores of the Mediterranean (130 km northwest of Cairo).
The Egyptian station consists of four nuclear reactors, each with a capacity of 1,200 MW, with a total capacity of 4,800 MW. The trial run of the first reactor is scheduled for 2026.
Voronkov highlighted many projects currently taking place in Egypt, Bangladesh, Turkey and other countries.
The Russian official pointed out that when implementing a project to build nuclear power plants in any country - regardless of the region - a number of conditions must be observed, from the financial plan of the project to the availability of qualified personnel to operate nuclear power plants in the future.
ROSATOM has “a successful experience building nuclear power plants in various environmental conditions, including in countries with a hot climate,” Voronkov underlined.
The Russian giant signed cooperation agreements with Saudi Arabia and the UAE in the field of developing nuclear energy.
In 2015, Egypt and Russia concluded an agreement to cooperate in building the Dabaa nuclear energy plant, with a $25 billion-loan provided by the Russian side.
Voronkov stressed that the loan was “one of the project support tools, as the company has extensive experience in applying a variety of financing options, which are specifically tailored to the customer’s needs.”
He said that Russia has always cooperated with countries in the region in the peaceful uses of atomic energy, and signed intergovernmental cooperation agreements with the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Algeria, Tunisia and Sudan, and a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the peaceful use of atomic energy with Morocco.
He added that his company was ready to provide a full range of cooperation in energy and non-energy fields, including low-power nuclear installations, nuclear medicine, radiation technology, water desalination, nuclear research centers, and systems based on radiation safety.