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(LEAD) S. Korea wins 3 tln won deal to build nuclear power plant in Egypt

All News 19:52 August 25, 2022

(ATTN: ADDS Yoon's remarks in paras 4-5)
By Lee Haye-ah

SEOUL, Aug. 25 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has won a 3 trillion won (US$2.25 billion) deal to build a nuclear power plant in Egypt, delivering a boost to the languishing nuclear power industry at home, a presidential official said Thursday.

Under the deal, which was signed in Cairo the same day, South Korea's state-run Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co. (KHNP) will supply equipment and construct turbine buildings for Egypt's first nuclear power plant project in El Dabaa, 300 kilometers northwest of Cairo.

The project will see the construction of a total of four nuclear reactors by Russia's Atomstroyexport.

President Yoon Suk-yeol hailed KHNP for winning the deal, saying it offered proof of the "technology, safety and solid supply chain of Korea's nuclear power plants."

In a Facebook posting, Yoon said the government will spare no efforts to help develop nuclear power plants into the nation's key driver of growth.

Choi Sang-mok, senior presidential secretary for economic affairs, said the project is the country's largest nuclear power plant export since 2009, when South Korea built the Barakah nuclear power station in the United Arab Emirates.

Choi Sang-mok, senior presidential secretary for economic affairs, briefs reporters at the presidential office in Seoul on Aug. 25, 2022. (Yonhap)

"We experienced many difficulties in the process of negotiating the contract due to unforeseen variables, such as Russia's war in Ukraine and sanctions against Russia," Choi said during a press briefing.

"The Yoon Suk-yeol government's scrapping of the nuclear phase-out policy and strong determination to export nuclear power plants combined with the efforts of relevant agencies, such as the industry ministry, foreign ministry and KHNP, to produce the final completion of the contract," he said.

Yoon took office in May on a pledge to reverse the nuclear phase-out policy of the preceding Moon Jae-in administration. Since its inauguration, the Yoon administration has set a target of exporting 10 nuclear power reactors by 2030.

Choi said the new project is expected to give a boost to the struggling domestic nuclear power industry by generating work, serve as a stepping stone to make additional inroads into the African market, and reaffirm South Korea's world-class technical skills and solid supply chains.

"We expect it to be an experience we can rely on and a strong momentum that will increase our chances of exporting additional nuclear power plants in the future to countries such as the Czech Republic, Poland and Saudi Arabia," he said.

Yoon used his trip to Spain in June to pitch South Korea's nuclear power exports to world leaders on the sidelines of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit.

Ahead of Thursday's signing, Yoon expressed the strong commitment of the South Korean government and businesses to ensure the success of Egypt's nuclear power plant project in a message sent via diplomatic channels to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, according to Choi.

He also instructed relevant agencies to provide the United States, a "nuclear power ally," with an advance briefing on the deal, Choi said.

hague@yna.co.kr
(END)

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