Gold mine or land mine? Kepco weighs NuGen deal
Energy industry in wait-and-see mode upon Moon’s anti-nuclear policy
KEPCO Chief Nuclear Officer Park Jong-hyuck and NuGen CEO Tom Samson will be giving presentations at the Nuclear New Build 2017 scheduled for June 27-28. Industry watchers speculated that the two may have a one-on-one meeting during the conference.
Park’s presentation will involve KEPCO’s past nuclear plant projects, while Samson is scheduled to offer updates on the NuGen project.
Park played a key role in KEPCO’s nuclear project in the United Arab Emirates, considered as one of the state-run firm’s biggest deals. In October 2016, KEPCO signed an agreement to operate nuclear power plants in the UAE, a project he headed as vice president.
NuGen CEO Tom Samson (right)
NuGen was formed in 2009 as a joint venture between France’s ENGIE, Spain’s Iberdrola and the Scottish and Southern Energy to build a new nuclear reactor in Northwest England with a capacity of up to 3.6 gigawatts. SSE and Iberdrola have since withdrawn from the project. Japan’s Toshiba now holds 100 percent stake. Neither Toshiba nor KEPCO have stated the size of stake on the block.
Meanwhile, KEPCO’s plans to pursue the deal are facing concerns due to President Moon Jae-in’s policies to reduce Korea’s reliance on nuclear power.
“As a state-owned company, it’s a dilemma for KEPCO,” an industry source told The Investor on the condition of anonymity.
“KEPCO wants another major deal like the one with the UAE, but at the same time, it’s afraid it may appear ironic to export nuclear technology when the country is busy shutting down its own facilities.”
By Park Ga-young (firstname.lastname@example.org)