The South Korean government refuted, on December 25, the recent media report that South Korea has to pay a huge compensation for a delay of its nuclear power plant construction project in the UAE.
“The report about the compensation is not true and no South Korean company has withdrawn from the project or gone bankrupt due to non-payment,” the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy explained. Earlier, the Chosun Ilbo reported that the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) and other South Korean companies have to pay up to two trillion won after the construction of the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant in the UAE was delayed because of their fault.
The local new daily also reported that some of the companies have gone under or withdrawn from the project due to non-payment. According to the ministry, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC), which is working on the project with the South Korean companies including the KEPCO, announced on May 5 that the completion of the construction was postponed until next year with regard to assessment by international organizations, nuclear safety standard compliance, skilled operation by power plant employees, etc.
According to the contract of the KEPCO and the ENEC, the KEPCO has to pay US$600,000 per day in the case of a delay of the construction and commercial operation of the power plant. The ministry, however, refuted that South Korea does not have to pay any compensation for delay. “The entire process including the construction and the payment of construction costs is currently underway as scheduled with every South Korean company in the project intact,” the ministry remarked, adding, “The South Korean government will continue to work closely with the KEPCO and the UAE so that the project can be carried out successfully.”
The opposition Liberty Korea Party floor leader Kim Sung-tae said,” Cheong Wa Dae (the Presidential Office) has been just repeating ‘don’t know’ or ‘nothing to say’ despite a series of suspicions occurring in relation with the UAE issue,” adding, “Lawmakers from opposition parties cannot but visit UAE and get to the bottom of the incident,” according to the local daily newspaper on December 26.