Gowling WLG advises on landmark Rosatom El Dabaa nuclear power project

11 December 2017

Gowling WLG has served as the legal adviser on one of the largest new-build nuclear power construction projects in the world: the El Dabaa project in Egypt, worth more than US$30 billion.

Gowling WLG acted for Rosatom State Corporation and its subsidiaries in successfully concluding the negotiation of the transaction. The project was formally announced in Egypt today at a ceremony attended by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin.

The El Dabaa project involves the construction of a 4,800MW nuclear power station in Egypt, consisting of four 1,200MW nuclear reactors, along with nuclear fuel, spent fuel, and operations and maintenance related goods and services. The reactors will be owned and operated by Egypt's Nuclear Power Plants Authority, part of Egypt's Ministry of Energy.

As one of the world's leading nuclear vendors, Rosatom has one of the largest portfolios of international nuclear construction projects, with 34 nuclear power plants in 12 countries. It is also one of the top uranium mining and fuel manufacturing companies in the world.

"El Dabaa is truly a monumental project for Rosatom, the Republic of Egypt, and for the global nuclear industry as a whole," said Ahab Abdel-Aziz, Gowling WLG partner, global director of nuclear power generation and Rosatom project director. "It marks the first nuclear power project in a 'new entrant' economy since the UAE's Barakah nuclear power plant in 2009, and entails the most significant vendor financing of its kind at US$25 billion."

Since November 2015, Gowling WLG's Nuclear Energy Group has played a key role in the transaction, including negotiating the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC), Operations Support and Maintenance (OS&M), Nuclear Fuel Supply (NFS), and Spent Nuclear Fuel (SNFT) contracts. Gowling WLG's team also provided strategic advice on risk management, project delivery, regulatory and licensing requirements, and nuclear liability.

"We were delighted to contribute to the success of this highly complex nuclear mandate, and to work alongside other industry-leading experts on the world stage," added Abdel-Aziz. "We're confident that this transaction will serve as an important precedent for similarly situated economies, and we hope that it will pave the way for the future development of nuclear power capacity in countries that have the greatest need for such capacity."

In addition to Abdel-Aziz, Gowling WLG's Canada-based Rosatom team included Ted Betts, Paul Harricks, Ian Palm, Paul Murphy, Paul Armitage, Aubrey Lasky and Magda Hanebach.

The professionals in Gowling WLG's Nuclear Energy Group have been delivering legal and strategic counsel to leading members of the Canadian and global nuclear industry and governments. They are currently advising on nuclear mandates in Canada, the U.K., Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Argentina, South Africa and Finland. They have advised on nuclear mandates in other countries around the world, including the United Arab Emirates, Germany, South Korea, Australia, China, Russia, Jordan, Romania, and the United States.

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