KEPCO promises ‘perfect’ nuclear plants in UAE

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Jun 14, 2012 - 20:24
  • Updated : Jun 18, 2012 - 18:47
Korea’s power giant to hold support rally for nuclear power plant deal with the Middle Eastern country

The nation’s state-run energy supplier Korea Electric Power Corp. will hold a resolution rally at its Seoul headquarters Friday, vowing for the safety, quality and integrity of its ongoing nuclear power plant deal with the United Arab Emirates.

About 500 executives and staff from KEPCO, Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction Co., Hyundai Engineering and Construction Co., Samsung C&T Corp. and other suppliers will be in attendance at the event, designed to stave off concerns regarding the construction, management and operations of Korean nuclear power reactors in the Middle Eastern country.

Company officials said that a resolution will be announced at the event to address what’s being cited as the main roadblocks to the successful completion in the construction of the nuclear reactors, including poor quality control, construction delays and safety issues. Korean contractors will also eventually assist in the operation and management of these reactors.

KEPCO president and chief executive officer Kim Joong-kyum is also expected to attend and give a speech at the venue. 
KEPCO CEO Kim Joong-kyum

Kim is also expected to address public concerns about possible cases of corruption regarding the construction of the plants, and outline a series of anti-corruption measures such as the formation of a multi-supervisory survelliance unit and an open competitive bidding system that will oversee the Korean-built nuclear reactors in the UAE.

Company officials said that Kim will also brief attendees on the management system of the project. According to KEPCO, priority will be given to on-site project management, and the company’s best talent, with around 30 years of experience in the nuclear reactor construction business, will be deployed to the Middle Eastern country to manage operations there. Kim is also expected to explain what his role in the project will be from the company’s main Seoul office.

KEPCO officials said Kim’s speech will also underscore the lack of accidents so far at the construction site, in Braka, the United Arab Emirates. The company marked the passing of the 1,000th accident-free hour on April 25. 
Employees from Korea Electric Power Corp. and its partners vow perfection in building a nuclear power plant with four reactors in Braka, the United Arab Emirates, at a ceremony in May. (KEPCO)

Meanwhile, Korea’s state-run electricity corporation held a previous resolution rally in Braka, the United Arab Emirates, on May 27. About 300 employees of KEPCO and its contractor companies, as well as KEPCO’s president and chief executive officer Kim Joong-kyum, were in attendance.

At the rally, Kim addressed safety concerns, the formation of a quality assurance team, and a need for all the workers to uphold rigorous ethical standards during all stages of the project. The KEPCO head also toured the on-site construction premises during his three-day stay, and pledged through the nuclear power plant deal with the UAE to contribute towards the development of Korea’s nuclear export industry.

The UAE, through the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corp., awarded the first of the nuclear reactor contracts to a group of KEPCO-led Korean companies in 2009. The contract, inclusive of design, construction, operations and management for four 1,400-megawatt nuclear power units, was valued at around $20 billion and was viewed as a major milestone for Korea’s nuclear export industry.

The construction work for the four original reactors have a projected completion date between 2017 and 2020.

By Renee Park (