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Korea wins masssive nuclear power project in Egypt

A bird’s-eye view of Egypt’s El Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant (Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power)
A bird’s-eye view of Egypt’s El Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant (Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power)

South Korea’s state-run nuclear power company Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power won a project to build a nuclear power plant in Egypt, the presidential office confirmed on Thursday.

Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power signed a contract with Russian nuclear technology company Atomstroyexport, or ASE, over the field of nuclear power plant equipment and turbine construction of the El Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant in Cairo on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. (local time).

The El Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant is a project to build four 1,200-megawatt nuclear power plants in El Dabaa, ordered by the Egyptian Nuclear Power Plants Authority and awarded by ASE.

“The meaning of this project order is that it is the first large-scale nuclear power plant in 13 years since the 2009 (United Arab Emirates) Barakah nuclear power plant,” said senior presidential secretary for economic affairs Choi Sang-mok at a press briefing on the day.

“There were many difficulties in the process due to sanctions against Russia. However, President Yoon Suk-yeol’s will and the efforts of related organizations made the final contract,” he said.

He also said Korea’s relevant ministries informed the US on details of the contract and that the two sides will continue close consultations.

Regarding concerns over the US technologies, which are used for nuclear power plants, the presidential office said: “There may be various uncertainties regarding sanctions against Russia, but that has been resolved in the current state, so we have reached a final agreement.”

Since Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power was selected as the sole bidder in December last year, unexpected variables such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and sanctions against Russia have made it difficult to reach a final contract.

Through this project, it is expected that it will contribute to the restoration of the local nuclear power plant ecosystem by supplying work to nuclear equipment and construction companies, the Industry Ministry said.

The experience of entering the African nuclear power plant market for the first time will provide more opportunities for Korean companies with excellent technology, the ministry added.

By Shin Ji-hye (shinjh@heraldcorp.com)
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