South Korea's Kepco beats Chinese in Moorside nuclear race

South Korea's Kepco beats Chinese in Moorside nuclear race

South Korea's state-run utility firm Korea Electric Power Corp. was selected as the preferred bidder in a project to build a nuclear power plant in Britain, sources said Wednesday.

Expected to account for approximately 7% of the future electricity requirements in the country, the £10bn ($17bn) Moorside nuclear power plant is being developed by NuGeneration (NuGen), a joint venture between Toshiba with 60% stake and GDF SUEZ with 40% interest.

KEPCO's win occurs as South Korea, the world's fifth-biggest nuclear power user, plans to lower its dependence on nuclear power at home mainly due to safety concerns, while continuing its nuclear export drive overseas.

The former vice minister of trade, industry and energy took KEPCO's top post in December 2012 and won a second term that was set to end on March 27.

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Toshiba said in a brief comment to Yonhap News Agency that the company has chosen KEPCO as its preferred bidder, but it declined to give any further details. Britain is seeking to maintain its nuclear power generation capacity as part of its efforts to diversify its energy supply. I was pleased to meet with the South Korean company's senior leaders during the summer and was able to convey the many reasons for investing in West Cumbria, not least, a 70-year track record of leading the world's nuclear expertise.

The KEPCO and Toshiba are going to move ahead with negotiations for share acquisition for months to come.

If KEPCO signs the contract, it would be the first such deal since 2009 when it won a 20 billion dollar deal to build four nuclear power plants in the United Arab Emirates.

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