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Hyundai E&C seeks to join UK SMR project

By Shim Woo-hyun

Published : March 7, 2024 - 03:43

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From left: Julia King, Holtec’s senior adviser in the UK; Holtec International CEO Rick Springman; Hyundai E&C CEO Yoon Young-joon; Mott MacDonald’s UK and Europe managing director Cathy Travers; and Balfour Beatty CEO Leo Quinn pose for a picture at a signing ceremony at the Korean Embassy in London on Tuesday. Hyundai E&C From left: Julia King, Holtec’s senior adviser in the UK; Holtec International CEO Rick Springman; Hyundai E&C CEO Yoon Young-joon; Mott MacDonald’s UK and Europe managing director Cathy Travers; and Balfour Beatty CEO Leo Quinn pose for a picture at a signing ceremony at the Korean Embassy in London on Tuesday. Hyundai E&C

Hyundai Engineering & Construction announced Wednesday that the company signed business agreements with US energy equipment supplier Holtec International, and with UK construction firms Balfour Beatty and Mott MacDonald, in a bid to join the UK government’s small modular reactor project.

The UK government plans to expand nuclear energy capacity to 24 gigawatts by 2050, through building a fleet of SMRs. Holtec is one of the six developers that have been shortlisted to win the project.

Holtec aims to start the construction of the first SMR reactor as early as 2028, with plans to deploy additional units of it in phases by 2050 across the UK. Which SMR models and how many of them will be construct have not been disclosed by Hyundai E&C.

Balfour Beatty and Mott MacDonald are expected to provide support to the construction and installation of related systems, as well as the equipment used for the reactors.

Since 2021, Hyundai E&C and Holtec started to work together to develop the SMR-160, a pressurized light-water reactor that uses low-enriched uranium fuel.

The two companies also signed agreements with Korea’s state-run financial institutions, the Korea Trade Insurance Corp. and the Export-Import Bank of Korea, to provide financial support for their SMR projects in the UK and other regions such as Poland and Ukraine.

Last year, Hyundai E&C announced that it would establish a regional office in Warsaw, Poland, in a bid to accelerate its business expansion in Eastern Europe.