Egypt, Armenia contracts for Worley Parsons

23 June 2009

Australia-based engineering consultants Worley Parsons has now announced contracts to oversee projects towards Egypt's first nuclear power plant and for a new power plant in Armenia.


In December 2008, Egypt's Energy and Electricity Ministry announced that following an international tender, it had decided to award a $180 million contract to Bechtel to choose the reactor technology, choose the site for the plant, organise training and provide technical services over some ten years. However, the government has now transferred this contract to Worley Parsons.


The company said that it has signed a consultancy services contract with the Egyptian Nuclear Power Plant Authority (NPPA) for the 1200 MWe plant. The initial phase of the contract will involve site and technology selection studies, followed by work relating to the plant's design, construction management, commissioning and start-up. Worley Parsons said that it expects the contract to be worth some $160 million over eight years.


In 2006, Egypt announced plans to build a 1000 MWe reactor for electricity generation and water desalination at El-Dabaa on the Mediterranean coast by 2015, in a $1.5-$2 billion project that would be open to foreign participation.


Armenian contract


Worley Parsons also said that it has been awarded a contract by Armenia's Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources to provide consulting services for a second nuclear power plant in the country.


The contract will be implemented in four phases. The first two phases - including the development of a feasibility study for the project and handling the tender process for strategic investors in the project - are scheduled to begin later this year. Worley Parsons said that the first two phases will take about one year to complete. It noted that these two parts of the contract are worth $500,000.


The third and fourth phases of the contract will involve organizing a tender and the recommendation of engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractors, followed by consultancy services to the ministry during the design, construction and start-up of the project. These phases of the contract, Worley Parsons said, would be worth over $430 million, but will only be authorized after selection of and commitment by the strategic investors.


Armenia's existing Metsamor nuclear power station originally hosted two reactors. Both were closed down after a severe earthquake in 1988 triggered concerns about their seismic vulnerability. One unit is now undergoing decommissioning, but the other restarted operations in 1995 and is earmarked for closure around 2016. Armenia relies on Metsamor for over 40% of its electricity and in November 2007 the USA also signalled its support for nuclear new build in the country, pledging a reported $2 million towards planning studies.


In June 2009, the Armenian government passed legislation providing for construction of up to 1200 MWe of new nuclear capacity from one or more reactors. Cost estimates were in the range of $4-$5 billion. Construction is slated to begin in 2011-12, with commissioning by 2017.


Previous experience


Worley Parsons has been involved in the implementation of 18 nuclear power reactors, totalling over 13,100 MWe, around the world.


Most recently it has acted as architect/engineer to Bulgaria's National Electricity Company (NEK) and the country's Ministry of Energy and Energy Resources for the completion of the Belene nuclear power plant. The contract was initially signed in January 2005 and is valid throughout the multi-year contracting, design, construction, commissioning and start-up phases of the project.


The company has also provided services for the modernization of the Kozloduy nuclear power plant in Bulgaria.