The contract between Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom and Egypt for the construction of the El-Dabaa  NPP could be delayed by three months until  March, Egyptian media reported on 28 December. "Indeed there have been contract discussions in the Egyptian Council of State. We are now at the final stages, but there are still issues requiring attention and coordination," an Egyptian Energy Ministry source told the Arab republic's Veto news portal. The commercial contract between Egypt and Russia to establish, supply, and operate the NPP includes four agreements: the main plant, fuel supply, technical support during operation, and establishing storage for fuel.

Russian sources had previously said the contracts could be signed on 29 December. However, an Egyptian ministry source expressed doubt that the contract would be signed at that time, noting that additional time was needed to resolve issues relating to the plant’s commissioning and subsequent servicing.

Earlier it was reported that the Egyptian government is reviewing three scenarios for the signing the contracts with Rosatom. Government sources told Daily News Egypt that the first scenario was a partial signing of the contracts before the end of the year, leaving the remaining parts to be signed within three months. The second scenario involved postponement of the entire agreement until March, and then presenting the agreements to the State Council for revision. The third scenario, which the source described as “highly unlikely”, was postponing the signing of the contracts indefinitely or cancelling them.

Russia and Egypt signed an inter-governmental agreement on the construction of the NPP in November 2015. The $30bn plant, sited near the city of El Alamein 3.5km from the Mediterranean Sea, will comprise four 1200MWe units. Russia is granting a $25bn loan for the project, which is expected to take 12 years to complete. The loan will be used to finance 85% of the value of each contract to implement works, services, and shipments of the project. Egypt will pay the remaining 15% in instalments. The term of the loan is 13 years over the period from 2016 until 2028, with a 3% annual interest rate.