Korean Hydro Nuclear Power or KHNP is a subsidiary of KEPCO (Korean Electric Power Company). KHNP has established agreements with both BATAN and PT Medco Power for studies of possible Indonesian nuclear power development. KHNP/KEPCO is widely regarded as one of the leading candidates to supply a nuclear power plant to Indonesia if the NPP projects goes ahead. In December 2009 KEPCO was awarded a contract to build the first of four 1,400 MW APR1400 nuclear power plants in the United Arab Emirates. This was Korea’s first successful bid to export a nuclear reactor.

See also

Government sources


Company sources

Kepco in Brief, 2004.

Indonesia Project, KHNP [accessed 23 June 2008].

Indonesian president visited the Kori headquarters in November 2005 and expressed his strong willingness to adopt a Korean nuclear power plant. As a result of discussing joint nuclear projects through inter-government channels like the Korea-Indonesia resource cooperation committee and summits between two countries, both countries concluded a nuclear cooperation agreement and their Ministries of Commerce, Industry and Energy signed an MOU on the construction of nuclear power plants in December 2006. The KHNP concluded an MOU with Indonesian power company in February 2004 to cooperate with each other in preparation for constructing a nuclear power plant, and conducted joint researches until December 2006. It also signed an MOU with the Indonesian state-owned electricity company (PLN) in December 20005 and carried out joint researches until April 2007.

With the help of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), the KHNP conducted public relations about the excellence of Korean nuclear power technology from 2005 by inviting key figures like decision-makers related to the introduction of nuclear power plants from 2005. The delegation for public-private economic cooperation carried out public relation activities in its visit to Indonesia in April 2007. And the Indonesian NGO delegation came to Korea to inspect its nuclear power industry in July 2007.

The KHNP has its two business development staffs dispatched there to reinforce cooperation with related organizations, and the has continued its joint researches with the Indonesian power corporation and MEDCO.

Indonesia project, KHNP. [accessed 23 June 2008].

[Ed. note: separate site from preceding entry.]
As Indonesia has a plan to construct at least 4 nuclear power plant units by 2025 after construction of the first nuclear power plant, KHNP has promoted project development by choosing Indonesia as a Korea Standard Nuclear Power Plant Strategic Export Country. Since the late 1990s, KHNP has cooperated with Badan Tenga [sic] Atom Nasional (National Nuclear Energy Agency), and PLN (Indonesian Electronic Power Corporation) in order to lay the groundwork for Korean Standard Nuclear Power plant advances into Indonesia.

In July 2003, Indonesia proposed the pursuit of a nuclear power plant development feasibility study for the introduction of Indonesia’s first nuclear power plant, and an MOU was finalized between BATAN and KHNP on behalf of both governments in February 2004. From February 2004 to December 2006, BATAN and KHNP carried out joint nuclear power plant construction advance preparation and planned the establishment of a feasibility study regarding project management, technical capability, economic efficiency, financial resources supply field, localization, site examination, PA, etc.

As the Indonesian government finalized policy for the introduction of the first nuclear power plant in April 2005, PLN requested cooperation with Korea for nuclear power plant business preparation and entered into a cooperation MOU among KEPCO, KHNP and PLN in December 2005 and performed nuclear power plant construction preparation joint research from December 2005 to April 2007.

Following the President of Indonesia’s visit to Kori Nuclear Power Site in November 2005, a number of government officials such as the Chairman of the National Assembly, Government party counselor, Chief of National Assembly Energy Section , Chief Regulator and Minister of The Ministry of Research & Technology, etc. have visited Korean Nuclear Industry.

The nuclear energy cooperation agreement between both governments that originated in 2003 was signed during a summit with both countries in December 2006. An inter-government cooperation foundation was established through the MOU between the Ministry of Commerce & Energy and Ministry of Energy & Mineral Resources. KHNP and DJLPE (Directorate General of Electricity & Energy Utilization) were selected as representatives to support the Indonesian government leading nuclear power plant construction preparation and are searching for a concrete cooperation plan.

KHNP will maintain the cooperation necessary for nuclear power plant project preparation such as field manpower training, reactor type selection, site permission acquisition and localization planning, etc. through discussions with the Indonesian side.

MOU on the Cooperation of Nuclear Power Plant Construction with Indonesia Executed, 12 December 2005.

On December 12, 2005, KHNP executed a memorandum of understanding with PLN of Indonesia to cooperate on the construction of nuclear power plants, whose specifics include preparations for project and construction management and financing during the one year period. As a result, this initiative will provide Korean standards in nuclear power to Indonesia.


South Korea Targets $400 Billion Nuclear Plant Orders (Update2), Shinhye Kang, Bloomberg, 2010-01-14

South Korea, which won its first overseas order to build a nuclear power plant in December, aims to secure $400 billion of contracts by 2030 as demand for atomic energy increases. The nation plans to get orders to build 80 nuclear plants by then and control 20 percent of the global market share, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said in an e-mailed statement today. South Korea will become the world’s third-largest nuclear plant exporter, according to the ministry.

“The best chance for South Korea will come in new nuclear countries, for example Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand and Middle East countries,” Steve Kidd, director of strategy and research at the World Nuclear Association, said by e-mail. An attractive price and a record of building nuclear power plants at home will help Korea Electric secure more contracts, Kidd said. The cost of building Korea Electric’s APR1400 reactor is $2,300 per kilowatt, compared with $2,900 for Areva’s EPR and Japan’s ABWR, according to the South Korean government.

The government will be capable of producing core components including reactor coolant pumps by 2012, Vice Knowledge Economy Minister Kim Young Hak said. South Korea would still depend on other nuclear plant builders including Toshiba Corp. for some key parts, he said. South Korea will spend 400 billion won ($355 million) by 2017 to upgrade its APR1400 model, Kim said. The nation wants to expand the reactor’s lifespan to 80 years from 60 years while shortening construction time to 36 months from 52 months. The North Asian nation will also target the 88 trillion-won global market to operate, maintain and repair reactors, according to the ministry statement. South Korea is planning to buy stakes in uranium mines to secure a stable supply of the fuel, the ministry said.

UAE selects Korea Electric Power corp. team as prime contractor for peaceful nuclear power program, WAM – Emirates News Agency, 27-12-09

The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) announced today that it had selected a team led by Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) to design, build and help operate civil nuclear power plants for the United Arab Emirates peaceful nuclear energy program. The contract calls for the KEPCO team to design, build and help operate four 1,400-MW civil nuclear power units. The value of the contract for the construction, commissioning and fuel loads for four units equaled approximately US$20 billion, with a high percentage of the contract being offered under a fixed-price arrangement. In addition to the delivery of the four plants, ENEC and KEPCO have also agreed to key terms under which Korean investors will have an equity interest in the project. This arrangement will further strengthen the business relationship and powerfully incentivize the partners to ensure that the necessary experience, technology and skills are available to achieve on-time and on-budget delivery and safe and reliable operation of the plants. The contract contains provisions that lower risk to the project and allow the UAE to model its nuclear industry on that developed by Korea during the past three decades. The first of the four units is scheduled to begin providing electricity to the grid in 2017, with the three later units being completed by 2020.

Renegotiating the South Korea-US nuclear pact, Lee Byong-Chul, Asia Sentinel, 11-01-10

South Korea’s unprecedented acquisition of a US$20.4 billion contract to develop nuclear power plants for the United Arab Emirates is fueling hopes of at least short-term economic development with regard to nuclear energy-related industries. The acquisition of the contract also marks the beginning of a new relationship with the United States over nuclear power. The largest single construction contact Seoul has ever won, it makes South Korea the world’s sixth exporter of nuclear plants. The ROK-US nuclear energy agreement, which was initially signed in 1972 and revised in 1974, is officially to expire in March of 2014. Both countries reportedly agreed to reach the completion of the revision of the pact in 2012. Few details have emerged, but we are told that the US is much concerned about whether South Korea will seek to possess nuclear weapons in some way or another in the wake of obtaining the right to reprocess spent nuclear fuel. America appears unwilling to ‘radically’ fix the 38-year-old pact, despite the fact that Seoul clearly declared in the 1992 Joint Declaration on the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula that it “shall not test, manufacture, produce, receive, possess, store, deploy or use nuclear weapons.”

South Korea Looks to Middle East as Portal to West, Jacob Mazer, Fuel Cycle Week, 22 June 2009

South Korea signed a nuclear pact with the United Arab Emirates this week, vowing to aid the Middle Eastern country in the development of its nuclear energy program over the next two decades. The agreement allows South Korean companies to bid on contracts for the UAE’s maiden nuclear plant, which is slated to start operation by 2015. Though its presence in the foreign nuclear industry has been focused on heavy component fabrication and supply, South Korea has the makings to become a much bigger player. The country has a strong domestic nuclear presence, generating about 40% of its electricity from its twenty reactors, with plans to expand this figure to 60% over the next twenty years. South Korea also has a strong reactor design in its APR-1400 model, and with the recent purchase of 19.9% of Denison Mines by state utility Korea Electric Power Corp., now possesses a significant uranium connection. KEPCO is definitely the underdog in the competition for UAE and Jordanian nuclear projects, pitted against far bigger companies like AREVA, GE-Hitachi, Toshiba-Westinghouse, and Rosatom. But a victory here for South Korea could mean stepping up to the next plateau.

Massive demand for KHNP’s $1 billion bond issue, Rupert Walker, Finance Asia, 11 June 2009 

Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP), a unit of state-run Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco), priced a $1 billion five-year bond issue early this morning (Hong Kong time) at the tight end of late price guidance. Despite the fact that Korean investors were excluded from the primary offering, the deal attracted around $8 billion worth of orders, led by a hefty bid from Asian accounts, according to people familiar with the deal. Irresistible momentum gathered, and the issue turned hot. Kepco’s other five gencos [power generating companies] are fired by fossil fuels, predominantly sourced from Australia, Indonesia and China. Kepco was restructured in April 2001, and the idea is those five gencos will be privatised. KHNP, on the other hand, will remain a subsidiary of Kepco because of safety concerns and its strategic importance, and so is likely to retain the sovereign credit rating.

S&P believes that KHNP is expected to remain a wholly owned subsidiary of Korea Electric Power Corp [also rated A], “owing to the Korean government’s desire to maintain tight control over base load capacity and the nuclear generation sector. Environmental and safety risks associated with nuclear power are mitigated by a favourable regulatory regime and government-backed indemnity from nuclear liabilities. Both Kepco and the Korean government have a strong incentive to find solutions to any nuclear issues that may arise in the future”, it said. It warned, however, that “these strengths are offset by the company’s continuous need for massive capital investments, as per the government’s long-term electricity supply plan. The company is also inherently exposed to the environmental and safety risks associated with nuclear power generation”.

Nuclear Power in Korea, Uranium Information Centre, Briefing Paper 81, October 2007.

From 1961 until April 2001 South Korea’s sole electric power utility was Korea Electric Power Company (KEPCO). Set up as a government corporation, 21% of its shares were sold to the public in 1989. The power generation part of KEPCO was then split into six entities and all the nuclear generation capacity, with a small amount of hydro, became part of the largest of these, Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co Ltd (KHNP). KEPCO remains a transmission and distribution monopoly.

In 2005 the KSNP/KSNP+ was rebranded as OPR-1000 (Optimised Power Reactor) apparently for Asian markets, particularly Indonesia and Vietnam. Eight operating units and four under construction are now designated OPR-1000. Construction of the first pair of third-generation APR-1400 reactors – Shin Kori 3 & 4 – was authorised in 2006. In August 2006 KHNP placed a US$ 1.2 billion order with Doosan Heavy Industries for major components of these. Westinghouse has a $300 million contract with Doosan for part of this order. In February 2007 a contract was let to a consortium led by Hyundai to build the two plants, subsuming the Doosan order. KHNP expects the APR-1400 reactors to cost a total of $5 billion ($1850/kW) and to generate power at US$ 3.54 cents/kWh. First concrete is expected to be poured in October 2008, and construction time of 51 months is envisaged.

Politics and calamities stalking Jakarta’s nuclear power ambitions, Mark Hibbs, Vol. 48 No. 39, 27 September 2007.

Contrary to Korean press reports in July, one Indonesian official said last week, “there is no separate track” that would allow Korean industry to build reactors in Indonesia without a formal tender involving competing foreign vendor companies. A private firm, PT Medco Power, arranged for Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co. Ltd., KHNP, to carry out a feasibility study on building power reactors in Indonesia, Hastowo said. But that did not imply, he said, that KHNP or any other Korean companies would be selected to build any reactors in Indonesia separately from a formal bidding process. Batan last year said it aimed to organize formal bidding two years after a decision by the Indonesian government is taken to launch a power reactor project. The feasibility study by KHNP may be completed in 2008, Hastowo said.

ROK’s Yonhap: Korea Electric Power Eyes Selling Light-Water Reactor to S Africa, Seoul Yonhap in English, 15 September 2007.

South Korea’s power monopoly Korea Electric Power Corp. is seeking to sell to South Africa a light-water reactor that was originally intended to be provided to North Korea in a nuclear disarmament deal, informed sources said Saturday. The facilities were originally intended for two light-water reactors in North Korea, part of a 1994 settlement between North Korea and the U.S., in which the energy-starved North was guaranteed the facilities in return for abandoning its nuclear weapons ambitions. The $4.6-billion project, however, was scrapped early last year after years of suspension following the outbreak of an ongoing dispute over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program in late 2002. The communist state conducted its first nuclear weapons test on Oct. 9, 2006. KEPCO’s decision to sell the equipment is intended to relieve the company of spending massive amounts of money for maintenance of the facilities, the official added.

S Korea Promotes Sale Of Indigenous Nuclear Reactor To Indonesia, Yonhap in English, 25 July 2007.

In the first Indonesia-Korea Energy Forum attended by government officials and businessmen from the two countries, Seoul said its Optimized Power Reactor-1000 (OPR-1000) was ideal for Jakarta’s planned atomic energy program. Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co. (KHNP) said the 950 megawatt electrical (MWe) OPR-1000 had proven itself in terms of safety and economic viability. The state-run company said there are currently six operational reactors in South Korea based on older models of the OPR-1000, with four more updated types under construction. These reactors are to be completed from 2010-2012. The first indigenously designed OPR-1000 started operating in August 1998 at the country’s Uljin 3 reactor. The KHNP, which manages all atomic power facilities nationwide, said the country won deals to sell components for nuclear power units and support facilities to countries like the United States and China, but has not been able to sell entire reactors. Indonesia, Vietnam and South Africa are among the countries to which Seoul wants to sell its nuclear reactors.

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See also

Project coordinator: Richard Tanter
Additional research:
Arabella Imhoff
Updated: 15 January 2010