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(LEAD) KEPCO selected as preferred bidder for nuclear plant in UK

All News 19:09 December 06, 2017

(ATTN: REVISES lead, UPDATES with comments, background in paras 3, 8-9)

SEOUL, Dec. 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's state-run utility firm Korea Electric Power Corp. said Wednesday it was selected as the preferred bidder in a project to build a nuclear power plant in Britain.

Toshiba Corp., which has a 60 percent stake in the NuGen consortium in charge of building the nuclear power plant in Cumbria, northwest England, picked KEPCO as its preferred bidder.

"KEPCO and Toshiba will talk over the contract terms over the next few months and will finalize the deal when the negotiations are complete and the British government approves the project," KEPCO said in a statement.

Greg Clark, U.K. business secretary, said in Seoul in April that KEPCO has "a very strong reputation internationally in nuclear energy." Clark visited Seoul to meet with South Korean officials and executives of KEPCO and prospective investors about the nuclear power project.

Britain has launched a program to inject more into its energy sector, as many of its nuclear reactors are coming to the end of their operational life cycles. Britain is seeking to maintain its nuclear power generation capacity as part of its efforts to diversify its energy supply.

Currently, 20 percent of Britain's electricity generation comes from nuclear power plants.

In 2009, a South Korean consortium led by KEPCO won a US$20 billion deal to build four nuclear power plants in the United Arab Emirates. It marked South Korea's first export of nuclear reactors.

KEPCO said it will submit its APR 1400 reactor to the British nuclear regulators for review in early 2018, with a goal of generating electricity by the late 2020s.

The Seoul government has vowed to support local companies' bids to export nuclear reactors overseas, in a move to ease concerns that the domestic nuclear phase-out plan could adversely affect efforts to newly secure contracts.


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