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Korea wins $40 billion nuclear deal

President Lee personally pushed Kepco’s bid to build 4 U.A.E. reactors  PLAY AUDIO

Dec 28,2009
President Lee Myung-bak, left, and his United Arab Emirates counterpart, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in a summit in Abu Dhabi yesterday. Shortly after the summit, the U.A.E. announced its decision to award the nuclear power plants contract to Korea. [YONHAP]
Korea won one of the world’s biggest nuclear energy contracts yesterday as the United Arab Emirates formally announced its decision to award the $40 billion deal to the consortium led by the state-run Korea Electric Power Corp.

According to the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, the Kepco consortium beat its French and U.S.-Japanese rivals and won the Arab world’s first nuclear power plant contract.

Though Kepco is the lead contractor, the winning consortium includes the Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Corporation, Korea Nuclear Fuel, Hyundai Construction & Engineering, Samsung C&T, Doosan Heavy Industries, Westinghouse of the United States and Japan’s Toshiba.

The announcement came shortly after President Lee Myung-bak concluded a summit with the U.A.E. President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi. Lee flew to the Arab nation on Saturday to give one last push to win the contract.

The deal is Korea’s first to export nuclear reactors that will be designed, built and operated with the nation’s indigenous technologies. Under the contract, Korea will build four 1,400-megawatts reactors, support operations and provide fuel.

The construction contract alone amounts to $20 billion. In addition to the construction, Korea will participate in the operation, maintenance and fuel supply of the power plants during the 60-year-long lifespan of the reactors, earning another $20 billion.

Of the four reactors commissioned, the first will be completed by 2017. The remaining three will produce electricity by 2020, the Blue House said.

In addition to the nuclear power plant project, Kepco and the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation also signed deals to participate in water, electricity, gas and transportation programs in the U.A.E. According to the Blue House, the deal is six times larger than what used to be the country’s largest construction contract in Libya. The Libyan waterway project was worth $6.3 billion. The $40 billion deal is worth about one-sixth of the Korean government’s 2010 budget.

“By 2030, more than 430 nuclear reactors are expected to be built around the world, and the global nuclear energy market will be worth about $1 trillion,” said a Blue House official. “Korea’s successful win of the U.A.E. deal will serve as an important opportunity for the country to become a strong power in the future competitions.”

The Blue House also said Lee’s diplomatic and negotiation skills played the crucial role. The former CEO of Hyundai Construction-turned-president with the nickname “Bulldozer” “had given specific advice from how to form a consortium to pricing strategies,” a presidential aide said.
Shortly after his arrival in Abu Dhabi, Lee had a dinner with Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, who came to the airport to greet him. “The crown prince’s welcome at the airport was a surprise, and President Lee promised that his meeting with the crown prince will serve as an opportunity to develop the two nations’ bonds,” Blue House spokeswoman Kim Eun-hye said.

By Ser Myo-ja [myoja@joongang.co.kr]

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400억 달러 … 한국, UAE에 원전 판다


한전이 주도하는 ‘한국형 원전 컨소시엄’이 27일(현지시간) 아랍에미리트(UAE)가 발주한 원자력발전소 건설 사업자로 선정됐다. UAE 원자력공사는 이날 “한전컨소시엄이 프랑스 아레바와 GE(미국)-히타치(일본) 컨소시엄을 제치고 중동지역에서 최초로 추진되는 UAE 원자력발전사업 프로젝트의 최종 사업자로 선정됐다”고 발표했다.

이날 수주 발표는 원전 수주 지원차 UAE의 수도 아부다비를 찾은 이명박 대통령과 할리파 빈 자이드 알나하얀 UAE 대통령 간의 정상회담 직후 이뤄졌다.

양국 정상이 지켜보는 가운데 계약당사자인 칼둔 알 무바락 UAE 원자력공사 회장과 김쌍수 한전 사장이 원전사업 계약서에 서명했고, 양국은 정부 간 경제협력 협정도 함께 체결했다. 이번 수주금액은 총 400억 달러(47조400억원)로, 2010년 정부 예산안 292조원의 6분의 1에 해당한다. 또 리비아 대수로 2단계 공사(63억 달러)의 여섯 배가 넘는 한국의 플랜트 수출 역사상 최대 규모다.

이번 수주는 특히 1978년 미국 기술에 의해 고리원전 1호기를 첫 가동한 지 31년 만에 이룬 한국형 원전의 첫 수출성공 사례다. 1400㎿급 한국형 원전 4기의 설계·건설은 물론 준공 후 운영지원과 연료공급을 포함하는 일괄수출 계약이다. 건설부문의 계약금액은 200억 달러지만, 원전 수명기간인 향후 60년 동안 운영지원에 참여하게 됨으로써 약 200억 달러의 추가 수주가 예상돼 정부는 총 수주 규모를 400억 달러로 발표했다. 한전 컨소시엄엔 현대건설, 삼성물산, 두산중공업, 미국 웨스팅하우스, 일본 도시바 등이 참여하고 있다. 한전이 UAE에 건설할 4기의 원전 중 1호기는 2017년 준공돼 전력생산을 시작하고, 나머지 3기는 2020년까지 완공할 계획이다.

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