Amec, the UK-based engineering and project management company, has signed a cooperation agreement with South Korean companies to develop energy-related business opportunities and projects, both in South Korea and internationally.
|Signing of the cooperation agreement (Image: Amec)
The company has signed a two-year cooperation deal with Korea Electric Power Co (Kepco), Korea Gas Corp (Kogas) and the Korea Development Bank (KDB). Under the agreement, the four companies will form a joint venture to share their respective expertise in developing, constructing, managing and operating a wide range of energy projects and facilities. This will include nuclear power, thermal power generation, gas, renewable energy and carbon reduction.
According to Amec, the agreement will support the South Korean government's overseas development program and its investment plans to strengthen the country's security of supply and energy asset portfolio.
Under the agreement, Amec will provide expertise in program and project management, supply chain management, design, licensing and operations in nuclear new build, radioactive waste management and nuclear decommissioning, as well as in power generation. Amec also has expertise and knowledge in project management consultancy, front-end design, engineering, asset operation and maintenance in the oil and gas industry.
Kepco is to contribute expertise in designing, constructing, operating and maintaining nuclear reactors and power generation facilities. Kogas is the owner and operator of a national downstream gas infrastructure serving both commercial and domestic customers. KDB leads the Korean national investment program.
The cooperation agreement, signed at a ceremony in London on 13 January, follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in October 2008 between Amec, Kepco and Kogas to develop such cooperation. KDB has since joined the collaboration. Amec has worked in South Korea since 2005.
Earlier this month, the South Korean government announced national electricity plans to help mitigate climate change which include ambitions for nuclear to contribute nearly half the country's electricity generation by 2022. The plan forms part of the country's long-term plans to achieve a 46% improvement in energy efficiency by 2030, formally announced in September 2008.
South Korea is to invest 37 trillion won (about $28.5 billion) in increasing generation capacity over the period to 2022 to meet an electricity demand expected to grow at 2.1% per year over the period. The plan includes the establishment of 12 nuclear power reactors, 7 coal-fired units and 11 liquefied natural gas (LNG) units. This would mean that nuclear power would account for 48% of all electricity generated by 2022, up from 34% today.
South Korea already has 8 reactors under construction or on order, all due to start up between 2010 and 2016, with another two plants proposed to be online by 2030. Work began on two of the new units - Shin Wolsong 2 and Shin Kori 1 - in 2008. The country has 20 operating nuclear reactors but remains heavily dependent on imports to meet some 97% of its total energy requirements.