Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) President & CEO Lee Won-gul, left, shakes hands with ENKA Chairman Sinan Tara Friday, after signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on cooperation in Turkey's nuclear power plant construction project in Ankara. / Courtesy of KEPCO
By Ryu Jin
Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with ENKA, the largest construction firm in Turkey, in a move to win an order to build a nuclear power plant there, according to the South Korean state-run firm.
KPECO President and CEO Lee Won-gul signed the MOU with ENKA Chairman Sinan Tara and met other government officials and business leaders in Ankara on Friday, the company said Sunday.
ENKA and KEPCO agreed to join forces to build a South Korean-standard atomic power station in Turkey and expand their business partnership further, according to the company.
Before signing the MOU, Lee met with Energy Ministry Undersecretary Selahattin Cimen in the Turkish capital, where the heads of Turkey’s Atomic Energy Authority (TAEA) and Turkey Electric Power Exchange were also on hand.
``We’d like to take part in your country’s project to build the first atomic power station as an independent power producer (IPP), based on the nuclear technology that we’ve accumulated over the past three decades,’’ Lee was quoted as saying.
Cimen, for his part, expressed deep interest in KEPCO’s intention to participate in his country’s nuclear power plant project and said that he hopes the South Korean firm will see a good result in the bidding process, according to a company spokesman.
Turkey has been stepping up efforts to construct a 5000MW nuclear power plant by 2015 as part of efforts to prepare for a possible energy crisis due to a rising demand for electricity and to enhance the country’s energy self-sufficiency.
``Our technologies related to atomic power stations have already been recognized highly for safety, stability and efficiency,’’ Lee said in an interview with The Korea Times earlier this month.
``We have not yet built a nuclear power station abroad,’’ he said. ``But once we set up a couple of plants, I expect demand to grow explosively in the future.’’
Lee, 60, who served as a vice minister of commerce, industry and energy, is well aware of the importance of overseas markets and, therefore, has given top priority to what he calls global management since taking office about a year ago.
KEPCO aims to be the top electric power firm in Asia with annual overseas sales of 3.8 trillion won ($4.0 billion), or about 8.3 percent of its total sales, by the year 2015. Its current overseas sales stand at around 200 billion won, or just 1 percent of the total.
Lee visited Bolivia last week for an agreement with the South American country to build a 120MW hydroelectric plant. KEPCO also signed an MOU with Russian firm TPE in Seoul to advance into the Russian electricity market.