UAE, Korea to bid on nuke projects together

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UAE, Korea to bid on nuke projects together

Korea will bid for new nuclear plant projects with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as the two countries agreed to strengthen cooperation in the sector.

According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, Korea Electric Power (Kepco) CEO Kim Jong-kap and Nasser Al Nasseri, CEO of the UAE’s Barakah One Company, signed a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday during the World Energy Congress in Abu Dhabi, UAE, to work together for nuclear projects.

Under the agreement, the two countries will cooperate for bids for the construction of nuclear reactors and their operation and maintenance in the global nuclear market. The partnership also outlines collaboration in financing, investment and fostering experts in the sector.

The move strengthens ties between the countries in nuclear development, which has faced uncertainty amid the Korean administration’s policy to reduce reliance on nuclear power.

The Korean government’s energy policy has been cited as a factor in the recent lack of progress in the nuclear industry.

Although Korea’s power utility companies are responsible for the construction of the UAE’s first nuclear energy station, the Barakah nuclear power plant, they failed to secure a deal to become sole maintenance provider in June.

Korea dispatched Industry Vice Minister Cheong Seung-il to the energy conference in the UAE. He was present for the signing of the agreement and met with the UAE’s Energy Minister Suhail Mohamed Faraj Al Mazrouei.

The cooperation is expected to benefit both countries as the UAE undertakes an investment drive in the nuclear industry.

Korea is also currently in talks related to Saudi Arabia’s nuclear plant project, competing against the United States, Russia, China and France.

BY CHAE YUN-HWAN [chae.yunhwan@joongang.co.kr]

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