Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co. (KHNP), South Korea’s operator of nuclear reactors, will spearhead exports of Korean nuclear power generation and transform into a world leading nuclear power consulting firm, said Chung Jae-hoon, president and chief executive of KHNP.
“KHNP will be in front in nuclear reactor exports based on its independent export capacity and project financing capacity,” Chung said in a press conference on Thursday. Until now Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) has mostly led Korean nuclear exports, but from now on, KHNP will take the lead in promoting nuclear exports, he emphasized.
Chung’s comments come at a time when Korea is gradually phasing out nuclear energy under an energy policy direction by President Moon Jae-in. With the government’s new energy policy, the Shin Kori 5 and 6 reactors under construction would virtually be the last generators in Korea, raising concerns over profit sources for KHNP. Shifting focus to overseas markets would allow the state-run nuclear operator to seek new growth engine, market experts said.
Noting the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, and the Philippines as strategic markets, Chung said the operator will aggressively tap into the new markets.
According to KHNP, CEZ Group, an integrated electricity conglomerate in the Czech Republic, is seeking to build two 1,000 megawatt or higher nuclear reactors each in Dukovany and Temelin. It will issue bidding proposal request this year and select a preferred bidder next year. Six companies - KHNP, China General Nuclear Power Corporation, Russian Atomic Energy State Corporation, EDF France, France-Japan consortium ATMEA, and U.S. Westinghouse Electric Corporation - submitted pre-bidding documents in 2016, in which the Czech Republic has been reviewing to establish a business and investment model.
Chung, meanwhile, also presented the vision of shifting the company’s business focus from a hardware to a comprehensive software development.
“KHNP is a hardware company that generates profit by building nuclear reactors, but we will create big data with 35 years of management knowhow to become a software company that earns profit by providing nuclear-related consulting services,” he said.
With goals to become a comprehensive energy company like U.S.’s competitive energy provider Exelon Corporation and world’s largest power company EDF Group, KHNP plans to establish new energy business strategy by benchmarking leading industry players and present a new portfolio in the end of this year.
By Ko Jae-man and Lee Eun-joo
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]