South Korea signs US$880mn nuclear reactor staffing deal in UAE

South Korea signs US880mn nuclear reactor staffingSouth Korea’s state run Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KNHP) has signed a deal worth an estimated US$880mn to manage four nuclear reactors under construction in the UAE

KNHP CEO Cho Seok signed an operating support services agreement (OSSA) with Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) in Abu Dhabi. According to the agreement, KHNP will dispatch experienced and qualified nuclear plant personnel including main control room operators and local operators, to the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP), in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi. The move will see about 210 workers working annually until 2030 in the UAE. The contract marks the first time South Korea will send personnel overseas to manage nuclear reactors.

“This may practically be the first time that Korea clinched a business deal of dispatching such large human resources. This will serve as a new chapter in terms of the ties with the Middle East, which have evolved mainly based on the construction businesses since the 1970s,” Cho said.

At the signing ceremony, ENEC CEO Mohamed Al Hammadi and KHNP CEO Seok Cho confirmed the joint commitment of both companies to the safe operations of the four nuclear units under construction at Barakah.

The construction of the four reactors which began in 2012 expected to be completed by 2020. Once the four reactors are online, the facility is expected to deliver up to a quarter of the UAE’s electricity needs and save up to 12mn tonnes in carbon emissions every year, an ENEC press release said.

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