Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak announced Wednesday afternoon that the country's first nuclear power plant will be built at El Dabaa on the Mediterranean coast.
The Associated Press reported that Energy Minister Hassan Younis said the decision is intended to "prioritize national interests and gives a big boost to the Egyptian nuclear program."
The plant will cost an estimated $1.5 billion, some of which will be financed by the government. Tenders will be issued by the end of the year.
In 2007, Mubarak announced his intention to revive Egypt's nuclear program, which was put on hold after the 1986 disaster at Chernobyl, in the Ukraine. He said at the time that his government would cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency and that Cairo does not desire to develop nuclear weapons.
In Lebanon, Hizbullah head Hassan Nasrallah said Tuesday that the country should consider building a nuclear power plant to provide it with energy. "I call on the Lebanese government to seriously consider ... building a nuclear power plant for the peaceful purpose of generating electricity, which would be more cost-efficient than the plan the government has endorsed," he said in a speech broadcast by video link.