Russia poised for major nuclear expansion in Africa
Russia and Ethiopia have signed a road map on nuclear energy cooperation, the head of Russian atomic energy major Rosatom, Aleksey Likhachyov, announced on Friday at the Russia-Africa Summit in St. Petersburg.
The agreement outlines steps the countries will take in 2023-2025 “to explore the possibilities of building a nuclear power plant of large or small capacity, as well as a nuclear science and technology center in Ethiopia,” the company said in a statement.
The Ethiopian delegation in St. Petersburg discussed nuclear cooperation with representatives of Rosatom and agreed to cooperate on developing the country’s nuclear industry, organize technical tours and seminars, and arrange meetings for specialized working groups.
Likhachyov also revealed that the BRICS New Development Bank will finance certain Rosatom projects, such as the construction of medical centers and small-capacity nuclear power plants.
“We have held large-scale talks with the BRICS New Development Bank and the president of the bank for the first time. Agreements were reached on financing certain projects in BRICS countries,” he said.
Russia is pushing towards wider nuclear cooperation with African countries and is progressing rapidly as a growing number of states have been working on the establishment of nuclear infrastructure over the past decade, according to Ryan Collier, CEO of Rosatom Central and South Africa.
“We’ve got Egypt, we’ve got 4,800 megawatts under construction currently and in Sub-Saharan Africa we are progressing. Nuclear projects are not happening overnight, there’s various key nuclear infrastructure that needs to be put in place before you can move forward with the project,” he told RT on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg summit.
He added that the nuclear power plant under construction in energy-strapped Egypt “will change the face” of the country by providing it with “clean base-loaded electricity.”
Run by Rosatom, the El Dabaa NPP will consist of four units using Russia’s VVER technology, each with a capacity of 1,200 MW and equipped with generation III+ VVER-1200 reactors, the most advanced technology currently available. Egypt expects the NPP to operate at full capacity by 2030.
Currently, Russia is the world’s “number one” in the nuclear energy sector and is ready to share its experience and technology with African nations, the head of the Coordinating Committee for Economic Cooperation with African Countries (AFROCOM), Igor Morozov, told RT at the summit.
“We’re creating a training center for nuclear energy specialists in Rwanda, a research and technology center which, I am sure, Rosatom will scale up in the future across the entire African continent,” Morozov said.
The Russian nuclear industry is essential for the operation of a large number power plants across the world. According to the World Nuclear Industry Status Report, of the 53 reactors under construction as of mid-2022, 20 were being built by Rosatom, 17 of which are outside Russia.
For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section