South Korea signs $2.25 billion deal with Russia nuclear company

ASE is a subsidiary of Rosatom, a state-owned Russian nuclear conglomerate.

August 25, 2022 04:09 pm | Updated 04:09 pm IST - SEOUL

Photo used for representation purpose only.

Photo used for representation purpose only.

South Korea has signed a 3 trillion won ($2.25 billion) deal with a Russian state-run nuclear energy company to provide components for Egypt’s first nuclear power plant.

South Korea’s government said on August 25, 2022 the contract between the state-run Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power and ASE requires the South Koreans to provide turbine-related equipment and construction work for the plant that is being built in Dabaa, about 130 kilometers (80 miles) northwest of Cairo on the Mediterranean coast.

ASE is a subsidiary of Rosatom, a state-owned Russian nuclear conglomerate.

A senior aide of South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol said the negotiations were slowed by “unexpected variables,” mainly Russia’s war on Ukraine and the U.S.-led sanctions campaign against Moscow over its aggression.

Choi Sang-mok, Mr. Yoon’s senior secretary for economic affairs, said South Korea provided an explanation to the United States in advance about its plans to participate in the Dabaa project and that the allies will maintain close consultation as the work proceeds.

He said there’s no possibility that the technologies being supplied by South Korea to the project would clash with international sanctions against Russia.

“Any kind of issue can be met by various uncertainties, but those have all been resolved as of now, and that’s why we were able to finalize the agreement,” Mr. Choi said.

Mr. Yoon’s office said the participation in the Dabaa project is the country’s biggest export of nuclear power technology since 2009, when a South Korean-led consortium won a $20 billion contract to build nuclear power reactors in the United Arab Emirates.

Mr. Yoon, a conservative who took office in May, has pledged to boost South Korean exports of nuclear power technology, which he insists were dented under the policies of his liberal predecessor, Moon Jae-in, who sought to reduce the country’s domestic dependence on nuclear energy.

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