South Korea signs $2.25 billion deal with Russian nuclear company.
A RUSSIAN NUCLEAR POWER PLANT FOR EGYPT reminder : Egypt has issued a license to Rosatom for the construction of the el-Dabaa nuclear power plant.
Published on 28.8.2022
South Korea has landed a 3 trillion won ($2.25 billion) contract with a Russian nuclear power company to supply components and build a turbine building for Egypt’s first nuclear power plant, it said on Thursday. officials.
The South Koreans have hailed the deal as a triumph for their nuclear power industry, even if it has created an awkward optic as their US allies push a campaign of economic pressure to isolate Russia in its war against nuclear power. ‘Ukraine.
South Korean officials said the United States had been consulted about the deal in advance and that technology provided by Seoul for the project would not conflict with international sanctions against Russia.
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According to the Presidential Office and the Ministry of Commerce of South Korea, the contract between the state-owned Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power and ASE obliges the South Koreans to provide certain materials and equipment and to construct the turbine building of the plant under construction in Dabaa. The Mediterranean coastal city is located about 130 kilometers (80 miles) northwest of Cairo.
ASE is a subsidiary of Rosatom, a Russian state-owned nuclear conglomerate.
A senior official of South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol says talks have been slowed by “unexpected variables”, primarily Russia’s war on Ukraine and the US-led sanctions campaign against Moscow for his aggression.
Choi Sang-mok, Yoon’s principal secretary for economic affairs, said South Korea had provided an explanation to the United States in advance about its intention to participate in the Dabaa project and that the allies would maintain close consultations. as the work progresses. As part of US sanctions against Moscow, South Korea halted transactions with Russia’s central bank and sovereign wealth funds and banned exports of strategic materials to Russia.
Neither Choi nor South Korean Commerce Ministry officials explained how the crisis in Ukraine and the sanctions against Moscow had affected negotiations between Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power and ASE, which has a contract with Egypt for construction. four 1,200 megawatt reactors.
Choi stressed that South Korea’s involvement in the project would not conflict with international sanctions against Russia.
“Any type of issue can face various uncertainties, but these have all been resolved so far, and that’s why we were able to finalize the deal,” he said.
Yoon’s office expressed hope that South Korea’s participation in the Dabaa project would help the country gain a foothold in future nuclear projects across Africa and also improve its chances of exporting to countries such as China. Czechia, Poland and Saudi Arabia.
Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power had been in negotiations with ASE as the preferred bidder for the turbine-related project since December, before Russia invaded Ukraine in late February.
Go Myong-hyun, a senior analyst at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies in Seoul, said the deal would not have been possible without US export approval, as components supplied by Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power probably include technology of American origin.
Current sanctions against Moscow also do not include specific restrictions related to nuclear energy, and the Biden administration would have no interest in disrupting a crucial project for Egypt, which it considers a key partner in the region, said Go.
While South Korea’s involvement in the Dabaa project would not immediately be an issue between the allies if the Americans approved it, things could change depending on how Russia’s war on Ukraine unfolds. and whether or not Washington will extend export controls against Moscow, Go said.
Yoon’s office said participation in the Dabaa project is the country’s biggest export of nuclear technology since 2009, when a South Korean-led consortium won a $20 billion contract to build nuclear reactors. in the United Arab Emirates.
Yoon, a conservative who took office in May, has pledged to boost South Korean nuclear technology exports, which he says have been undermined by the policies of his liberal predecessor, Moon Jae-in, who sought reduce the country’s domestic dependence on nuclear energy. Energy.
Yoon, in a statement on Facebook, said the deal reaffirms South Korea’s “advanced technology and strong security and supply chains”. in the nuclear energy industry. His government has set a goal of exporting 10 nuclear reactors by 2030.
Reminder: On the visit of Sergei Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, to Egypt:
📅 On July 23 and 24, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was on a working visit to Cairo.
The head of Russian diplomacy was received by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi and gave him a personal message from Russian President Vladimir Putin, and he also met with his Egyptian counterpart, the Egyptian Minister for Foreign Affairs Sameh Choukri.
During the meetings and talks, the interlocutors discussed in detail the implementation of the agreements concluded at the summit in order to develop all the traditionally friendly Russian-Egyptian relations in accordance with the Agreement on Comprehensive Partnership and Strategic Cooperation which entered into force in 2021. While emphasizing the importance of strengthening quantitative indicators of bilateral trade and expanding its nomenclature. It was noted that the Joint Russian-Egyptian Commission for Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation is expected to make a great contribution to achieving this goal. The interlocutors analyzed the progress of the implementation of major investment projects, including the construction in Egypt of the first nuclear power plant in El-Dabaa and the creation of the Russian Industrial Zone in the Economic Zone of the Canal of Suez.