Nuclear management role likely in the UAE

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Nuclear management role likely in the UAE

Korea is expected to co-found a company called Nawah Energy with UAE’s state-run nuclear power generator, Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, to manage four power plants in Barakah to be built by 2020, according to Korea’s minister of trade, industry and energy.

The comments came during President Park Geun-hye’s visit to the United Arab Emirates to mark completion of the first Korean-made nuclear reactor overseas.

The ENEC will hold 82 percent of the new company’s shares, with the remainder owned by the Korea Electric Power Corporation. The two countries aim to establish the new joint company by 2017.

Yoon Sang-jick, the minister of trade, industry and energy, told reporters after the Barakah 1 ceremony that the two countries will sign a memorandum of understanding to establish the company within seven days.

“The UAE could have decided to manage the reactors on its own, but the country chose to do so in a joint effort with the Korea Electric Power Corporation,” said Yoon. “It means the country recognizes our nuclear technology and experience.”

He explained that the two countries could have signed the agreement during the president’s visit, but it was delayed when Park decided to shorten her trip.

In addition to the UAE, the president originally planned stops in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

Park earlier canceled her entire Middle East trip in the wake of the Sewol tragedy, but eventually decided to make a quick trip to the UAE.

The memorandum of understanding will be among the ENEC, Korean Energy Ministry, Kepco and the Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Corporation to support human resources, staff training, maintenance and technology transfers.

Other MOUs signed during the visit call for the ENEC to employ 10 Korean university graduates every year and establish internship exchange programs as part of the plan to establish the new joint company.

Korea has a $20 billion contract to build four 1,400-megawatt nuclear reactors in the UAE, and some of the electricity produced from them will be used for a petrochemical factory complex that is also under construction.

SK and GS will participate in construction of the complex.

Cho Won-dong, senior presidential economic secretary, also told reporters that Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the king’s brother and crown prince of Abu Dhabi, told President Park during a lunch meeting on Tuesday local time that he mentioned to the Malaysian king, who recently visited Abu Dhabi, that Korea was a good choice to build the nuclear power plants.

BY KIM ji-yoon []

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