KHNP President Chung says KHNP’s in competition with Rosatom of Russia for Czech nuclear power project
KHNP President Chung Jae-hon signs an MOU with chief of UJZ Rez, the Czech state-run nuclear power research institute, to expand cooperation with the Czecho nuclear power industry.
Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power President Chung Jae-hoon’s bid to land a nuclear power plant project in Czech Republic is beginning to gain momentum. President Chung’s three visits to the Eastern European country and a following visit by President Moon Jae-in could turn the tide in Korea’s favor.
President Chung said on Jan. 16 that the probability of KHNP winning the competition initially stood at a meager 10 percent, but the figure has now soared to 50 percent, putting it on even ground with Russia’s Rosatom.
As the international bid on the project is slated to begin in March at the earliest, contenders such as Rosatom, Westinghouse, a joint venture between Japan and the United States, ATMEA, a joint venture between Areva of France and Mitsubishi of Japan, KHNP and CGN of China have shown willingness to participate in the bidding.
The Czech project calls for the construction of two 1,000MW nuclear power units - each one in Dukovany and Temelin in Central Bohemia at a cost of 21 trillion won with dedication slated for 2025.
It is the first overseas project President Chung has endeavored to win since he took office. While making his 3rd trip to Czech, he succeeded in signing an MOU with a Czech local contractor, boosting KHNP’s probability of landing the project. KHNP has a task force specializing in the Czech project to concentrate its all capabilities to clinch it.
Last August, President Chung met with Jan Stuller, the special envoy for nuclear energy of the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade, and ranking officials of CEZ, a utility group owned by the Czech government to discuss ways of promoting cooperation in the nuclear power field.
Chung also had meetings with the chairman of the Dukovany regional council, the association of local governments in the area where new nuclear power plants will be constructed, the mayor of Dukovany, and the chairman of the Vysocina Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
KHNP also signed an MOU with UJZ Rez, the Czech state-run nuclear power research institute, to expand cooperation with the Czecho nuclear power industry.
President Chung’s determination to land the Czech project is extraordinary. In his New Year message, President Chung expressed his willingness to make his first nuclear power project a success. In particular, his stress on the strengthening of the competitiveness of overseas projects may be construed as his strong determination to win the Czech nuclear power project.
Furthermore, President Moon dropped by Czech as part of his visit to South America last year to support KHNP’s bid to win the Czech nuclear power project. President Moon reportedly got an affirmative response during his meeting with Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis.
The Czech prime minister was quoted as saying that he was well aware of the success story of the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant being built by Korea in the United Arab Emirates and the Czech Republic was highly rating the safety of nuclear power plants being built by Korea.
The East European country has six nuclear power units in operation, which was built by Russia. Given the current reality, chances are high that Russia will snatch the upcoming Czech nuclear power project.
President Chung said Czech Prime Minister Babis’s final say over the project was favorable to the Korean side.
Prime Minister Babis’ earlier remarks on Korea’s strengths on nuclear power plants during his meeting with President Moon indicates higher probability of Korea’s winning of the project, he said. Dana Drabova, head of the State Office for Nuclear Safety6, was quoted as saying that KHNP, supplying nuclear power units in the UAE, looks best placed to get the job of the Czech nuclear power project.
In the context of the Czech government’s favorable responses to Korea’s nuclear power, a keen attention is paid on whether KHNP President Chung’s bid will pay off.
KHNP President Chung tours Sokota Power’s plant in Plzen, the Czech Republic, last Nov. 29. (Photos: KHNP)