The state-run Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) is accelerating its overseas presence as part of a move to diversify its portfolio and create new growth drivers, its chief executive said.
"KEPCO's business model centers on providing electricity in the domestic market and its overseas business has been an additional source of profit, but we are looking at promising new business opportunities broad," the company's CEO, Kim Jong-gap, told reporters on Oct. 31, 2018. He was speaking at a briefing on the sidelines of KEPCO's Bitgaram International Expo of Electric Power Technology held in Gwangju, 330 kilometers south of Seoul.
"KEPCO has been doing well in overseas business over the last 23 years and I want to expand global business based on this expertise."In the short term, KEPCO has been stepping up marketing efforts in Saudi Arabia to win a second nuclear project in the Middle Eastern nation, following a US$20 billion contract with the United Arab Emirates in 2009.
In July, KEPCO was shortlisted to bid for Saudi's first nuclear project, along with rivals from the United States, France, Russia and China.
"Though the schedule has been delayed, Saudi Arabia is expected to pick one preferred bidder by the end of next year," Kim said.
He said KEPCO is seeking ways to collaborate with Saudi Arabian companies and train local staff as part of its "localization" strategy.
"We are trying to show that (KEPCO) wants to become Saudi Arabia's long-term partner," the top manager said.
As part of these efforts, KEPCO held a nuclear energy roadshow in the Middle Eastern nation and signed about 50 agreements between companies and governments of the two nations.
In Britain, KEPCO has been in prolonged talks with Toshiba over a nuclear power plant project in Moorside.
The Korean utility firm was named as a preferred bidder in December, but it lost the status in July after the British government's decision to change profit models for the project.
Unlike the UAE project, which only involves the construction of nuclear reactors, Kim said the Moorside project is risky as KEPCO has to come up with financial solutions as well as a profitable business model.
"We are taking extra caution (on the Moorside project) as KEPCO will need 10 years to build a nuclear power plant and sell electricity for 60 years to get a return on the investment," Kim said. He didn't provide further details, citing the ongoing process.(Yonhap)