By Vice President Park Byung-uk of The Korea Post
As the largest power generation company in Korea, Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Company (KHNP) recently announced the policy of exporting nuclear power plants by itself, independent from Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), its parent company.
KHNP has been exporting nuclear power reactors to foreign countries jointly with KEPCO under the project name ‘Team Korea’, and it has been taking the part of operating and maintaining nuclear power plants after construction.
But now KHNP will take initiative in deals of receiving orders for nuclear power plant projects instead of supporting KEPCO as a subcontractor. “We don’t want to be a subcontractor any longer because we have competitive capacities of constructing, operating and maintaining nuclear power reactors as well as financing projects,” said CEO Chung Jae-hoon of KHNP.
The company has been operating nuclear power plants since 1978, and its nuclear power plants generated 148,427GWh in 2017, representing 26.8% of total electric power generated in that year. Currently, it is operating 26 reactors at 6 nuclear power plants in Korea including Kori, Shin-Kori, Wolsong, Shin-Wolsong, Hanbit and Hanul sites.
Increasing number of countries are choosing nuclear power generation as the most practical energy that requires much less costs and emits little carbon dioxide and other emissions.
Leveraging expertise and experiences in constructing and operating nuclear power plants, KHNP is committed to winning orders for projects from countries that are seeking to build nuclear power plants.
Initially, it targets several countries including Czech, the Philippines, Slovakia and Poland. According to KHNP, Czech plans to construct two 1,000MW nuclear power plants each in Dukovany and Temelin, and 6 companies, including KHNP, China General Nuclear Power Corporation, Russian Atomic Energy State Corporation, EDF France, U.S. Westinghouse Electric Corporation and a France-Japan consortium ATMEA, submitted pre-bidding documents for these projects in 2016. KHNP will also aggressively tap into the Philippines market. To that end, KHNP’s President Chung Jae-hoon recently met related minister of the Philippines who confirmed resumption of nuclear power generation.
With the goal of becoming a world-level energy company like Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation of the UAE and U.S.’s Exelon Corporation, KHNP also announced the vision of shifting its business focus from hardware to a comprehensive software development.
“KHNP is a hardware company that gains profit by building nuclear reactors, but we will create big data based on 35 years of management knowhow to become a software company that generates profit by providing nuclear-related consulting services,” Chung said.
Meanwhile, KHNP successfully completed construction of Shin-Kori Nuclear Power Unit 4 last year and is ready for commercial operation after obtaining official approval of the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission.