CAIRO: Egypt announced on Wednesday it would build its planned nuclear powerplant on the Mediterranean coast of el-Dabaa which it hopes will start production in 2019, the state news agency MENA reported.
Presidential spokesman Suleiman Awad said President Hosni Mubarak had decided in a meeting that the reactor would be located in El-Dabaa, on the coast west of the port city of Alexandria.
The meeting was "extremely important and represents a transition on the path to implement a strategic program to ensure power supplies and peaceful uses for nuclear energy," the agency quoted Awad as saying.
An electricity and energy ministry spokesman said the government hopes the powerplant would be linked to the national grid in 2019.
He said the ministry would open an international tender for the plant which will be decided by the end of this year.
"We hope it will be up in 2019," said Aktham Abu El-Ela. "You know we have a crisis when it comes to conventional fuel. This will be a stable source of energy," he said.
Electricity minister Hassan Younis had earlier estimated it would cost about $4 billion (€3.1 billion) for a 1,000 megawatt powerplant.
Egypt has already used several foreign companies as consultants, including French nuclear reactor producer Areva and US giant Westinghouse Electric Co.