News @ AsiaOne

POSCO intends to build nuclear plant

The electricity production capacity is expected to be 2.8 million kilowatts. -Korea Herald/ANN
Lee Ji-yoon

Fri, Aug 03, 2012
The Korea Herald/Asia News Network

KOREA - POSCO Engineering & Construction said Thursday that it has submitted a report of intent to build two nuclear power plants in Samcheok, Gangwon Province. If the company's application is approved, POSCO will become the first privately-run company here to operate a nuclear power plant.

Under the nation's nuclear safety law, the operation of nuclear power plants should be approved by the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission. Even though the law doesn't ban the participation of private companies, the state-run Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power has been exclusively responsible for the sector thus far.

"We have years of experience building and operating coal-powered plants and are ready to enter the nuclear power plant business after years of preparation," said a company spokesperson.

"It would be difficult for us to do the business alone. We are planning to establish a special purpose company, possibly together with Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power, inviting experts from different fields."

He also hinted that the company could carry out overseas projects considering its performance in Korea.

According to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, 24 private companies and six state-run firms have submitted proposals to build a total of 97 power plants that could generate 897.7 million kilowatts of electricity. The final result of the evaluation will come out by the end of December.

One of them is the construction affiliate of the steel giant POSCO, which expressed its desire to build a coal-powered plant in Goheung, South Jeolla Province, a thermal power plant in Siheung, Gyeonggi Province, and the two nuclear power plants in Samcheok, some 290 kilometers east of Seoul.

The electricity production capacity of the two facilities is expected to amount to 2.8 million kilowatts in total.

Amid a slump in the domestic property market, industry watchers say local builders are eyeing the power plant business first in Korea as part of their growing efforts to enter overseas markets, especially emerging markets such as in the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

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