Korean group clinches $40bn Gulf nuke deal
Abu Dhabi, December 27, 2009
A South Korean consortium has won a $40 billion contract to build several nuclear reactors for the United Arab Emirates, industry sources said on Sunday.
The award is the largest-ever energy contract in the Middle East and one of the world's biggest nuclear power plant contracts.
'We've won,' said one industry source. 'We're not sure about the exact figure but I think it's around $40 billion.'
A consortium including Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco), Hyundai Engineering and Construction, Samsung C&T Corp and Doosan Heavy Industries won the contract.
South Korea's President Lee Myung-bak was expected to sign the deal with UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan later on Sunday, sources said.
Work on the first nuclear plant in the UAE was expected to begin in 2012. The UAE is the world's third-largest oil exporter and is looking to nuclear power to meet rapidly rising electricity consumption.
Petrodollar-fuelled economic growth has left the Gulf Arab state struggling to meet domestic power demand. The UAE plans to build three or four nuclear reactors to meet an expected need for an additional 40,000 megawatts of power.-Reuters