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S. Korean energy minister to visit Saudi Arabia over nuclear project

2018/03/08 15:17

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SEOUL, March 8 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's energy minister will visit Saudi Arabia next week as Seoul seeks to tender a bid to build two nuclear reactors in the Middle Eastern nation, the government said Thursday.

Paik Un-gyu, minister of trade, industry and energy, plans to visit the resource-rich kingdom from March 11-13 to meet with Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih and other officials to hold nuclear cooperation talks.

Saudi Arabia, the world's largest crude oil exporter, has received requests for information (RFI) from five nations -- South Korea, China, the United States, France and Russia -- to build two nuclear reactors.

The country is expected to shortlist two to three preferred bidders by April and plans to select a winner by the end of this year, according to local reports.

During the visit, Paik will introduce South Korea's nuclear program and discuss ways to step up cooperation in the nuclear industry between the two nations, the ministry said.

The lucrative deal is a second chance for South Korea to tap into the Middle East market following a US$20 billion contract with the United Arab Emirates in 2009.