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Russia to build nuclear power plant in Sudan

 A four-reactor nuclear power plant in Bugey France (nuclear-energy.net photo)
December 22, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The Russian State Corporation for Atomic Energy (Rosatom) Friday said it has signed an agreement to build the first nuclear power plant to produce electricity in Sudan.

The deal comes a month after a visit by the Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir to Russia during which a nuclear energy cooperation agreement was signed between the two countries.

In a statement issued on Friday, the Russian corporation said Rosatom Overseas, a branch of Rosatom, and Sudan’s Ministry of Water Resources, Irrigation and Electricity signed the agreement on Thursday in Khartoum.

“The development of nuclear technology would allow Sudan to tackle its energy security problem. It is a strategic project that will define the nature of the relations between our two countries for a long time” read the statement

“As part of a feasibility study for the nuclear power plant construction project, the choice of site will be examined and the key parameters will be defined,” including timing and funding, it said without giving further details.

Last month, Water Resources, Irrigation and Electricity minister Muataz Musa said the construction of the nuclear plant will take a year and a half after the signing of the contract, pointing the project is part of a government plan to generate more than 5000 megawatts by 2020.

Since several years, Sudan announced it had plans to build a four-reactor nuclear power plant to fill the gap in power generation by 2030.

MEETING OF JOINT MINISTERIAL COMMITTEE

Meanwhile, President al-Bashir has expressed Sudan’s keenness to promote its relations with Russia in all fields describing ties between the two countries as “strategic”.

On Thursday evening, al-Bashir met with the Russian delegation participating in the 5th meeting of the Joint Sudanese-Russian Ministerial Committee for Economic and Trade Cooperation.

The Sudanese President vowed to facilitate all measures to implement agreements signed between the two sides, expressing keenness to advance bilateral relations.

Minister of Mineral and head of the Sudanese side Hashim Ali Salim told reporters after the meeting that President al-Bashir and President Vladimir Putin have genuine desire to implement all agreements signed early next year.

He added the 5th meeting of the joint committee has witnessed the participation of all ministers of the economic sector, saying the two sides have reached a joint understanding to implement the signed deals.

For his part, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment and head of the Russian side, Sergey Yefimovich Donskoy, said the Sudanese President was briefed on the outcome of the joint meetings, which culminated in the signing of agreements that will advance and strengthen relations between the two countries.

He said the meetings of the joint committee have opened wide prospects in many areas of joint cooperation, pointing to the great support rendered by the two Presidents to the committee and their keenness to implement the signed deals.

Politically, Russia is seen as a major ally of the government of al-Bashir that faces isolation from the West.

However, economic cooperation between the two countries has remained very low, with a trade balance that does not exceed $400 million.

In December 2015, Sudan and Russia signed 14 cooperation agreements in different domains, including oil, minerals and banks.

Last year, Donskoy said Russia is working to increase the commercial exchange with Sudan to reach $ 20 billion in the coming six years.

(ST)