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Diplomats enter fray as nuclear bid race concludes

South Korean foreign minister visits UAE crown prince

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The US$40 billion UAE nuclear deal is expected to be concluded by the end of the year.
The US$40 billion UAE nuclear deal is expected to be concluded by the end of the year.

The race to win a US$40 billion contract to build the first nuclear plants in the UAE is reaching its final stages, with one consortium even bringing in diplomatic intervention on their behalf.

The South Korean foreign minsister, Yu Myung-hwan, met with UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan during a regional visit earlier this month, where he promoted the competence of Korean plants, according to the Korea Times newspaper.

A Korean consortium, consisting of Samsung, Hyundai and Westinghouse, are considered to be a “surprise contender” according to the paper, due to its price offer and construction capacity.

Two other consortiums are also vying for the contract, which is likely to be awarded before the end of the year. A French partnership, consisting of Areva, EDF, GDF Suez and Total, is also considered a front-runner, with strong competition also being offered by Hitachi and GE.

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