December 28, 2009 09:33
A consortium led by KEPCO on Sunday won a US$40 billion deal to build and operate four nuclear power plants in the United Arab Emirates. It is the largest ever order won by the country, some six times the cost of a $6.3 billion canal project in Libya in the 1980s.
This is also the first time Korea is exporting its APR1400 light-water reactor since the country started operating its first nuclear power plant, Gori No. 1, with U.S. technology in 1978. With the contract, Korea has turned from an importer into an exporter of nuclear power technology.
President Lee Myung-bak helped clinch the deal in a meeting with his UAE counterpart Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the Emirates Palace Hotel Abu Dhabi. The two also agreed to develop the two countries' relationship into a strategic alliance.
The consortium also involves Doosan Heavy and Engineering Co., Hyundai Engineering and Construction, Samsung C&T Corp., Westinghouse Electric of the U.S., and Japan's Toshiba.
It landed the deal over a French consortium led by AREVA and a partnership of the U.S.' General Electric and Japan's Hitachi.
Under the deal, the KEPCO-led consortium will design and build four 1,400MW nuclear power units, one due for completion in 2017 and the other three by 2020. For the next 10 years, it will earn $20 billion for construction alone, the equivalent in money terms to exports of 1 million medium-sized cars or 180 300,000-ton oil tankers. By joining in the operation of the power plants during their 60-year life span, the consortium will make another $20 billion.
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