Monday, May 3, 2010
Text Fw: South Korea’s Global Nuclear Ambitions
*Source (same as the below link): Tamsin Carlisle, ‘South Korean companies strike it rich in UAE’, The National (Abu Dhabi), March 2, 2010
South Korea’s Global Nuclear Ambitions
David Adam Stott
“We had been building nuclear power stations for 30 years but had failed in repeated attempts to break into international markets.”
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak in a January 2010 radio address. 
December 2009 was an historic month for the South Korean nuclear industry. In winning two bidding competitions to design and construct nuclear power plants in the Middle East, it dramatically signalled its arrival as an international force in the sector. The opening announcement concerned Jordan’s first nuclear research reactor whilst the second, and most important, was a massive contract to build at least four nuclear power plants in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The South Korean team was one of nine original bidders and beat off competition from France and an American-Japanese consortium from the final shortlist of three. As the USA, France and Japan account for almost half of the world’s total nuclear reactors, this was an impressive achievement, especially since it will be the first nuclear power plant that Korea has exported.
The initial deal with the UAE to construct the reactors is worth around US$20 billion to KEPCO (Korean Electric Power Company) and its partners, whilst Seoul estimates that Korean firms will reap a further harvest of US$20 billion over the 60-year lifespan of the reactors by way of maintenance, servicing and fuel supply contracts. With a total value estimated at around $40 billion, this was the largest contract awarded in the Gulf last year, and the biggest single contract that South Korean firms have ever secured overseas. Indeed,, aside from military hardware, it is likely also the biggest contract ever signed in the Gulf region. Moreover, both sides view the landmark contract as a stepping stone to a much deeper economic relationship in which both countries pour greater foreign investment into the other. Indeed, Abu Dhabi has recently endowed South Korean firms with numerous large contracts to upgrade its petrochemical infrastructure.
* For more reading and maps/ images, click HERE