The United Arab Emirates is expected to place orders for four more nuclear power plants next year beside the four units currently being built by a Korean consortium, Knowledge Economy Minister Hong Suk-woo said.
“I heard that the UAE is planning orders for about four additional nuclear power stations,” Hong said in a press conference in Abu Dhabi on Monday, according to the ministry.
About the nuclear power plants currently under construction in the UAE, Hong said the project has great meaning in terms of job creation, as it requires about 2,000 high-skilled engineers.
Considering the expected additional orders, Korea may need about 6,000 people in 2020 for the UAE project, he said.
There is already a site large enough for four units next to the plants under construction, according to a ministry official.
“Since all the neighboring infrastructure will be built based on the Korean standard nuclear power plant, there is a good chance Korea could win the additional orders,” the official said.
Hong also said that Korea was the most likely winner of orders for nuclear power plants in Turkey and other countries.
“We also have a good chance in Vietnam,” the minister added. “The United States, France, Canada, Russia, Japan and Korea can build nuclear power plants, but the U.S. lags behind in technology as it hasn’t built one for 20 to 30 years. This is a good time for us to speed up (atomic power plant construction).”
Amid fast developing ties between Korea and the UAE, an Abu Dhabi commercial bank is set to open a branch in Seoul as early as the first half of this year, according to Kwak Seung-jun, chief of the Presidential Council for Future and Vision, who accompanied Hong in the signing of a major oil field development contract in the UAE.
By Kim So-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)