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KEPCO to finalize British nuclear project by Q3: official

2018/05/02 16:05

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SEJONG, May 2 (Yonhap) -- The state-run Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) plans to finalize its stake acquisition for a nuclear project in Britain by September after analyzing its potential profits and viability, a senior government official said Wednesday.

In December, KEPCO was selected as a preferred bidder for Toshiba's NuGen unit, which is behind the Moorside nuclear project in Cumbria, northwest England.

The Japanese industrial giant has a 100 percent stake in the NuGen consortium in charge of building the nuclear power plant in Britain after Engie of France pulled out of the project in early 2017.

"Talks between KEPCO and Toshiba as well as the governments of South Korea and Britain have been underway since KEPCO was selected as a preferred bidder in December," a senior energy ministry official said, asking for anonymity due to the ongoing negotiation process.

"If a preliminary analysis concludes the project serves the national interests, (KEPCO) will complete the stake acquisition by the third quarter of this year."

   The official said the Seoul government's involvement in the negotiation is aimed at delving into the nuclear project's profitability and potential risks, while the two companies have been discussing the detailed terms of contracts.

If finalized, it would be the second overseas project won by KEPCO after the US$20 billion deal in 2009 to build four commercial reactors in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Unlike the UAE project, which only involves the construction of nuclear reactors, market watchers say the Moorside project is more risky because KEPCO has to come up with financial solutions for construction and operation.

The state-utility firm plans to fit two of its APR-1400 reactors on the site, which would have a combined capacity of up to 3 gigawatts.

This illustration depicts NuGen's selection of the Korea Electric Power Corp. as a preferred bidder for the Moorside nuclear project in Cumbria, northwest England. (Yonhap) This illustration depicts NuGen's selection of the Korea Electric Power Corp. as a preferred bidder for the Moorside nuclear project in Cumbria, northwest England. (Yonhap)

ejkim@yna.co.kr

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