Egypt signs agreement to build nuclear reactor

Egypt's official news agency says the country has signed a 10-year consulting agreement with Australia's WorleyParsons (WOR.AX) to help build its first nuclear reactor. Thursday's report quotes Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif as saying the 900 million Egyptian pound ($161 million) agreement is a step toward Egypt entering an era of peacefully using nuclear technology. Egypt's Electricity Ministry said last month it dropped US construction giant Bechtel as a consultant for the project without giving reasons. But local reports suggested the deal stalled over operation terms. The entire project is expected to cost between $1.5 billion and $1.8 billion. It is part of plans to diversify Egypt's energy resources and preserve the country's oil and gas.