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Minister holds 2nd Nuclear Energy Exports Strategy Committee Meeting 2022-09-30

Trade, Industry and Energy Minister Lee Chang-yang held the 2nd Nuclear Energy Exports Strategy Committee (hereinafter “Committee”) Meeting on September 29 at the Seoul Garden Hotel.

Headed by the Trade, Industry and Energy Minister, the Committee was first launched in August this year to foster competitiveness of Korea’s nuclear and related industries and support their market penetration overseas. It is a nuclear energy exports control tower consisting of 30 nuclear industry institutions, relevant ministries, financial institutions, public companies and private sector experts.

In his opening message, Minister Lee gave recognition to various meaningful advances Korea’s nuclear industry has seen over the last month since the Committee’s first meeting on August 18.

One major achievement is winning the KRW 3 trillion Egypt El Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant Project on August 25, a first nuclear energy project win in 13 years since landing the UAE plant project bid in 2009.

The Korean government will strive to make the El Dabaa bid win quickly translate into job openings across relevant industries. The goal is to create over 1 trillion won worth of jobs throughout power generation public companies via early project commencement of Shin-Hanul No. 3 and 4.

The Minister also mentioned plans to support companies secure investments in equipment and facilities. The past nuclear phase-out policies have diminished nuclear equipment manufacturers’ revenues, but now they will be able to receive investment funding based not on past investment plans, but on future investment plans.

Another achievement he noted were improved radioactive waste management policies, as indicated in the recently established K-Taxonomy, as well as the special act on high-level radioactive waste management.

The 2nd Committee meeting focused on the following five agenda items.

One, stable financial competitiveness is key for the nuclear energy industry. This particular industry requires large-scale, long-term funding and long investment collection period.

Accordingly, the Government will join hands with a number of domestic financial institutions, including the Export-Import Bank of Korea, KDB Industrial Bank and K-SURE to create a “financial nuclear platform.”

Two, Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) President Hwang Ju-ho shared the outcomes of his talks with high-ranking industry insiders during his visit to the Czech Republic and Poland.

The Czech Republic is looking forward to furthering bilateral cooperation with Korea based on their MOU signed on the occasion of Minister Lee’s visit in June, especially on establishing local supply chains between nuclear energy companies.

For Poland, President Hwang claimed that establishment of related laws, regulations and system through strategic cooperation is necessary for South Korea’s introducing a nuclear power plant to Poland as it would be the nation’s first nuclear energy facilities.

Three, the Ministry plans to launch a “Nuclear Power Plant Exports TF” in October headed by the Deputy Trade Minister involving other relevant ministries to review the preparation progress of exports to the Czech Republic and Poland on a regular basis.

Four, the Ministry will support overseas marketing, finance and exports competitiveness to raise the independent exports capacity and vitality of each nuclear equipment and materials producer.

This support will include the launching of a nuclear power Global Partnering Business, opening of local branch offices for manufacturing nuclear equipment and materials, as well as supporting overseas marketing activities, such as exhibitions and online consultations.

Five, nuclear fuel supply markets are opening up anew amid the growing weight placed on energy security from the Russia-Ukraine situation. In view of this trend, South Korea will aggressively push the expansion of its nuclear fuel plant construction and exports industries.

Korea Electric Power Corporation Nuclear Fuel (KEPCO NF) commented that development of small modular reactors (SMRs) is picking up pace worldwide, and that South Korea needs to establish its own global competitiveness strategy by building on its SMR nuclear fuel development experience.

Along with the Committee, the Ministry will be making thorough preparations for the successful execution of the El Badaa project.