Egypt drops Bechtel as nuke consultant

Egypt's Electricity Ministry says it has dropped US construction giant Bechtel as a consultant for the country's first nuclear reactor. The state-run news agency quoted a ministry statement on Sunday as saying it has chosen Australia's WorleyParsons (WOR.AX) for the 10-year consultancy. In December the ministry said it had picked Bechtel for the $181 million project. It did not give details but local reports suggest that the deal stalled over terms of operation. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has announced plans for the nuclear power project to diversify Egypt's energy resources and preserve the country's oil and gas. He said Egypt would not seek a nuclear bomb. The entire project is expected to cost between $1.5 billion and $1.8 billion.