UAE Selects Korea Electric Power Corp. as Prime Team as Prime Contractor for Peaceful Nuclear Power


The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) announced today that it had selected a team led by Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) to design, build and help operate civil nuclear power plants for the United Arab Emirates peaceful nuclear energy program.

“Following a comprehensive and detailed review of three excellent bids from some of the world's top nuclear suppliers, operators and construction firms, ENEC has determined that the KEPCO team is best equipped to fulfill the government’s partnership requirements in this ambitious program,” said Khaldoon Al Mubarak, Chairman of ENEC. "The nature of this project will require a partnership that endures for nearly 100 years. This arrangement has driven us to focus on a very careful assessment of what characteristics among the competing consortia would translate into the best over-all fit in a partner for our program.”

ENEC Chief Executive Officer Mohamed Al Hammadi, further explained the decision, saying: “We were impressed with the KEPCO team’s world-class safety performance, and its demonstrated ability to meet the UAE program goals. Additionally, the KEPCO team dedicated a highly experienced team to our project and has shown a serious commitment to transferring the knowledge gained from Korea’s 30 years of successful nuclear industry operation into the UAE program. "

“We look forward to a long and productive relationship as we work toward powering the future growth of the UAE with low-carbon, peaceful nuclear energy,” Mr. Al Hammadi said.

The contract calls for the KEPCO team to design, build and help operate four 1,400-MW civil nuclear power units. The value of the contract for the construction, commissioning and fuel loads for four units equaled approximately US$20 billion, with a high percentage of the contract being offered under a fixed-price arrangement.

In addition to the delivery of the four plants, ENEC and KEPCO have also agreed to key terms under which Korean investors will have an equity interest in the project. This arrangement will further strengthen the business relationship and powerfully incentivize the partners to ensure that the necessary experience, technology and skills are available to achieve on-time and on-budget delivery and safe and reliable operation of the plants.

The contract contains provisions that lower risk to the project and allow the UAE to model its nuclear industry on that developed by Korea during the past three decades. The first of the four units is scheduled to begin providing electricity to the grid in 2017, with the three later units being completed by 2020. Given the growth in electricity demand projected for the United Arab Emirates, it is expected that additional units beyond the original four will be procured in the future as the UAE expands its fleet of civil nuclear power plants.

The contract also calls for extensive training, human resource development, and education programs as the UAE builds the capacity to eventually staff the vast majority of the nuclear energy program with national talent, and develops the industrial infrastructure and commercial businesses to serve a thriving nuclear energy industry. Additionally, ENEC and KEPCO have agreed to work together on business ventures in the utility and energy fields outside the boundaries of the UAE project.

“We are extremely pleased to be selected by ENEC as its partner in the United Arab Emirates civil nuclear power program and it will be our top priority to devote our resources and efforts towards the successful delivery of the world’s safest, most reliable and cost-efficient nuclear power plants,” said Mr. Ssang Su, Kim, President and CEO of KEPCO. “We are fully committed to ENEC’s goal of providing electricity to the UAE using safe and peaceful nuclear energy, and we have begun mobilizing a team so that we can begin work immediately,” Mr. Kim added.

Mr. Kim emphasized the far-reaching nature of the commercial partnership, noting that the plant to be commissioned in 2017 will remain in operation until at least 2077.

“KEPCO will also provide the UAE with its accumulated know-how and experience in developing nuclear power plants, and the Korean government will provide its full support in various aspects of the program to encourage further exchange and collaboration between our two countries,” he said.

While welcoming the new partnership with the KEPCO-led consortium, ENEC officials were quick to point out that discussions continue with the other bidders with regard to potential cooperation in areas outside the scope of the Prime Contract (e.g., long-term fuel supply, joint investments, training and education, etc.)