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10 December 2023

Samsung to sign deal with Kepco to build nuclear reactors for UAE

Samsung Corporation chief says the firm is pre-quallified for Louvre project and is waiting invitation from TDIC. (SUPPLIED)

By Sona Nambiar

Samsung Corporation is in the process of signing a sub-contract agreement with state-owned utility Korea Electric Power Corp (Kepco) on the construction of the nuclear reactors for the UAE, according to a senior official.

He told Emirates Business that it will soon start mobilisation on the project in partnership with Hyundai Engineering and Construction.

Last year, a South Korean consortium led by Kepco won a Dh75 billion deal to build and operate four nuclear reactors for the UAE. The consortium includes Hyundai Engineering and Construction, Samsung C & Corp, Doosan Heavy Industries, and US-based Westinghouse Electric, a unit of Japan' Toshiba Corp, according to an Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) statement.

The first nuclear plant is scheduled to start supplying power to the UAE grid in 2017 with the three later units being completed by 2020. Ten locations have been proposed for the plants, which are expected to provide 25 per cent of the country's power needs, according to officials.

"Kepco won the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the nuclear project and Samsung is involved in the construction aspect of the project. We are in the process of signing the sub-contract agreement with Kepco and will start mobilisation soon," said Jin-Ki Chung [Thomas], GM of Samsung Corporation [Abu Dhabi]. The total construction period is around 10 years, he added. In the UAE, the company is focusing on the tender of the new $1bn 65,000-seat football stadium, which is a part of the new Capital City District development next to Khalifa City, between Mussafah and Abu Dhabi International airport. "We are also looking at the Abu Dhabi New Airport Terminal project and the three iconic museums on Saadiyat Island. We are prequalified for Louvre and Zayed National Museums and are waiting for the tender invitation from TDIC," said Chung.

The Abu Dhabi market is getting very competitive, according to him. "Last year, due to the global financial crisis, projects stopped in Dubai and hence we have started looking at neighbouring GCC countries. Last year, we bid on only $1bn worth of projects," he said. "There are limited projects in the government sector in Abu Dhabi and not much work in the private sector.

"It is getting more difficult to bid since many contracting companies are aiming for the same project and the contract conditions are getting more stringent from the client. Hence, we chose to focus more on landmark projects such as the Cleveland Hospital [we are waiting for client's decision], the football stadium and Saadiyat Island and clients who are reliable such as Mubadala, TDIC, Aldar, Takreer, etc."

The company is also participating in a tender for the Mussafah Tank terminal, which is a part of IRP (Inter Refinery Pipeline) Phase 2 project of Takreer.

"We also tendered last year and are waiting for an award from Abu Dhabi Sewerage Service Company (ADSSC) for the 16km deep tunnel project, which is a part of Strategic Tunnel Enhancement Programme from the Abu Dhabi Government. We are also currently doing the Shuweihat S2 power plant in Ruwais and working on the tunnel project in Salam Street in Abu Dhabi.

"The latter will be completed early next year," said Chung. "We will continue to focus on such infrastructure work in Abu Dhabi based on the Abu Dhabi Transport master surface plan – metro, tram, etc."

The company has branches in Qatar and Saudi. "In Qatar, we tendered for the BOT project for Qatar National Bank and are waiting for the results," he said. It also sees potential in Kuwait.

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