28 Dec 2009

South Korean consortium wins UAE nuclear contract

10:05 am on 28 December 2009

A South Korean consortium has been awarded a contract worth about $US40bn to build four nuclear power plants in the United Arab Emirates.

The group, led by the Korea Electric Power Corp (Kepco), beat bids from a US-Japanese group and a French firm, the BBC reports.

South Korean officials said the deal was the biggest single contract the country had ever won abroad.

The United Arab Emirates is the world's third largest oil exporter but says only nuclear power can meet its energy demands.

The first nuclear reactor is scheduled to begin supplying power in 2017 and all should be in operation by 2020, by which time demand for electricity in the UAE is expected to have more than doubled.

As well as Kepco, the winning consortium includes Samsung, Hyundai and Doosan Heavy Industries, as well as US firm Westinghouse and Japan's Toshiba.