KEPCO selected as preferred bidder for nuclear power project in Britain: report

Lim Chang-won Reporter Posted : 2017-12-06 16:17 Updated : 2017-12-06 16:17
글씨작게 글씨크게

[Courtesy of KEPCO]

Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO), which produces home-made nuclear reactors, beat China to be selected as a preferred bidder for a nuclear power project involving Japan's Toshiba to build reactors in Britain, a press report said Wednesday.

Yonhap News Agency quoted unnamed government and power industry officials as saying Toshiba plans to make an announcement soon on its decision to pick KEPCO as a preferred bidder. If confirmed, that would be the first deal of its kind since South Korea secured a $20 billion contract in 2009 to build four reactors in the United Arab Emirates.

Japan's Toshiba owns 60 percent of the joint venture named NuGen with the remainder controlled by French utility company Engie. The venture plans to build three reactors, but the Moorside project has been in trouble due to the bankruptcy of Toshiba's U.S. subsidiary Westinghouse Electric.

KEPCO has been cautious, saying terms such as debt and equity should be fixed through talks between Britain and Japan, although Toshiba showed a strong interest in KEPCO's APR 1400 reactor.

The state utility company has been under pressure from environmental activists to stop its participation in the Moorside project. However, President Moon Jae-in has promised to "actively" support exports of home-made reactors.

South Korea is also locked in the race with France, China and Russia to win a Saudi contract on building two reactors. As the world's biggest crude exporter, Saudi Arabia seeks to diversify energy supplies and reduce its dependence on hydrocarbons. Construction will start next year on two plants.