KEPCO keeps an eye on Saudi Arabia's nuclear power prospects
Winning the bid will largely depend on how much localization the company can offer, including partnering with Saudi companies and hiring and training local workers
Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) continues to show interest in Saudi Arabia's nuclear future and still hopes to be picked for a $20bn nuclear power plant project in the Kingdom that is expected to be decided by the end of next year, a senior official has revealed.
Kim Jong-kap, Kepco’s president, said the biggest factor in winning the bid will be how much localisation the company can offer, including partnering with Saudi companies and hiring and training local workers, reported Korea Joogang Daily.
“We are currently preparing materials that will show how much we could localize by the end of this year,” Kim said on Wednesday at the Bitgaram International Expo of Electric Power Technology (Bixpo), a three-day exhibition and forum hosted by the Korean power company.
“We are trying to show that we are working to become Saudi’s long-term partner,” Kim said
In July Korea was put on the shortlist for the Saudi nuclear project along with the U.S., China, Japan and Russia.
The Saudi government is planning to build two nuclear power plants with a 2.8 gigawatt capacity by 2030. The country has plans to build a total of 16 nuclear power plants in the next 20 to 25 years.
Kim said overseas projects are ever more important to the state-own Korean power company.
“It’s been 23 years since Kepco has been working on overseas projects,” Kim said. “Currently we are working on 43 projects in 26 countries.
“Whether it’s building power plants or power transmission and distribution, there’s not much for us to do here in Korea,” he added.
“Our power losses in power transmission and distribution are [only] 3.5 percent, which is one of the lowest rates in the world and our annual power blackouts are the lowest in the world. So we are trying to find new opportunities overseas in which we can offer our experience.”
Kim said earnings from overseas could make it easier for Kepco not to raise domestic electricity bills, according to Korea Joogang Daily.