KHNP President Whang Joo-ho, center, and the outfit’s officials pose with JSC ASE representatives after signing a nuclear power plant-related deal in Cairo on Aug. 25. Photo courtesy of KHNP

Korea’s state-run outfit will set up turbine buildings

As soon as former Kyunghee University Prof. Whang Joo-ho took charge of the Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Corporation (KHNP), a piece of good news hit the state-run outfit.

The KHNP announced on Aug. 25 that it had garnered a multi-billion dollar contract to build a nuclear power plant in Egypt.

Under the deal with JSC ASE, which is valued at around 3 trillion won ($2.3 billion), the state-run organization will establish turbine buildings and supply equipment for Egypt’s first nuclear power station.

The KHNP will construct some 80 buildings and structures for nuclear reactors between 2023 and 2029. The project is taking place in El Dabaa, some 300 kilometers northwest of Cairo.

It marks Korea’s first major nuclear power plant agreement since 2009 when the country won a contract to build nuclear power reactors in the United Arab Emirates.

Experts expected that the Egyptian deal would boost the country’s efforts to win other nuclear plant projects in such countries as the Czech Republic and Poland.

The Seoul administration strives to export 10 nuclear power plants during this decade.

President Yoon Suk-yeol praised KHNP for the achievement, saying, “It offers the evidence of technological edge, safety and strong supply chain of our nuclear power industry.”

Korea Atomic Industrial Forum Vice Chairman Kang Jae-yuel also hailed the exploit.

“So many KHNP officials have put forth great efforts to ink the mega-sized contract,” Kang said. “Under the stewardship of President Whang, the KHNP is expected to sign other deals down the road.”

KHNP President Whang has taught nuclear engineering at Kyunghee University since 1991 and got aboard the Energy Technology Research Institute in 2010 as a director.

Whang, who studied at Seoul National University and Georgia Tech, assumed the leadership of the KHNP on Aug. 22.