Minister Paik Un-gyu of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) toured the site of constructing the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and looked into the progress of the construction and preparations into Barakah Nuclear Power Unit 1 on Feb. 24.
Minister Paik said the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant will serve as a great asset in helping Korea land nuclear power projects in Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom.
MOTIE Minister Paik said, “If Barakah Nuclear Power Unit 1 is dedicated this year end, it will achieve the world’s first commercial operation of an overseas nuclear power unit with a third generation reactor and the world’s first one in a desert.”
He made the remarks during his inspection tour to the site. Korea is working on the construction of four APR1400 nuclear power units in the site about 270 km west of Abu Dhabi. Minister Paik called for dedication of Unit 1 by year-end and all four by 2020 “on time and on budget.”
Minister Paik noted that Korea and UAE agreed to further enhance their bilateral ties to a comprehensive strategic relationship last month. He expressed hope bilateral cooperation in the nuclear power sector will contribute to strengthening bilateral ties.
Minister Paik also visited Masdar City, an eco-friendly city in the UAE, and Paik and Masdar CEO Al Ramahi examined recycling energy facilities there.
Ramahi introduced Masdar’s new and renewable energy projects with a combined capacity of 2.8GW, including a photovoltaic power plant in Spain and a coastal wind power plant in the United Kingdom. Minister Paik explained the Korean government’s “New and Renewable Energy 2030 Action Plan,” calling for an expansion of photovoltaic and wind power capacity by 30.8 GW and 15.5 GW by 2030, respectively.
CEO Ramahi, showing his interest in the New and Renewable Energy 2030 Action Plan, said he will visit Korea early next month to materialize collaboration in recycling and new energy industries with Korea.
Minister Paik said the recycling and new energy industries will likely play a pivotal role in expanding bilateral relationships between the two counties following the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant.
MOTIE Minister Paik presided over a meeting with related organization chiefs on ways of promoting collaboration in nuclear power, energy, industry, investment and trade sectors with Saudi Arabia and the UAE at the KCCI building in Seoul on Feb. 14. Representatives from 17 organizations, including Korea Electric Power Corp., Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, and Korea International Trade Association, were present at the meeting.
Korea and the UAE have reached a turning point in furthering their ties for reciprocal development by agreeing to upgrading their ties to a comprehensive partnership in January, and such a momentum need to be ramped up by dedicating the Barakah project without interruption as planned, Minister Paik said.
Countries are staging a fierce competition to win a nuclear power project in Saudi Arabia, and the final bidder will be determined based on diverse factors, including economics of nuclear power units, safety, and economic cooperation, he said. Korea will have to concentrate its capacity on winning the order, saying the final bidder will be selected by the end of this year.
MOTIE Minister Tours Saudi Arabia to Shore Up bilateral Ties in Nuclear Power
MOTIE Minister Paik made an official visit to Saudi Arabia from March 11 through March 13 in which he met with three Saudi ministers to express his determination to support Korea’s exporting nuclear power technologies and to discuss ways of promoting bilateral ties in industry and energy sectors.
Minister Paik met with Saudi Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Minister Khalid A. Al-Falih, Commerce and Investment Minister Majid Al-Qasabi, and Deputy Minister Mohammed Al-Tuwaijri deputy of Economy and Planning on March 12. MOTIE Minister Paik’s visit was designed to provide support to Korea’s participation in a bid on a Saudi nuclear power project and to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the implementation of collaboration projects related to the Vision 2030 Saudi Arabia plans to implement.
It is evaluated to contribute to shoring up bilateral cooperation in the nuclear power sector, expanding collaboration between the two countries under the Vision 2030 initiative, and building a new partnership for reciprocal development of the two countries.