Russia, Egypt sign nuclear power deal

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Moscow, Mar 25 (UNI) Russia and Egypt today concluded a deal on cooperation in the civilian nuclear power, allowing Russian companies to bid for deals to build nuclear power plants in Egypt.

After talks with visiting Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak at his residence near Moscow, outgoing President Vladimir Putin said the deal "opens up new horizons for bilateral cooperation." The agreement, signed by the Russian nuclear chief Sergei Kiriyenko and his egyptian counterpart Hassan Younes also stipulates personnel training for nuclear facilities in Egypt and nuclear fuel supplies to the country.

A tender for the construction of Egypt's first nuclear power plant is expected to be announced this year. The project is estimated to be worth 1.5-2 billion dollars.

Egypt also plans to later build another three nuclear power plants with aggregate capacity of 1,800 MW, or 600 MW each, in a bid to meet its energy needs and diversify energy sources, thereby allowing the country's hydrocarbon reserves to last longer.

Russia, seeking to develop high tech sectors to reduce dependence on oil and gas exports, has signaled interest in building a nuclear plant in Egypt.

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