It has become unlikely that South Korea becomes the only party to sign the long-term maintenance agreement (LTMA) for the Barakah nuclear power plant in the United Arab Emirates as Nawah, the operator of the power plant, is planning to split the agreement for South Korean, American and British subcontractors instead of conducting a public tender.
The United Arab Emirates said so on May 26, adding that Nawah will be in charge of operation and maintenance with the subcontractors responsible for work requiring expertise. The size of the contract is two trillion won to three trillion won.
The Team Korea consortium of Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power and Korea Plant Service & Engineering is currently staying in Abu Dhabi for negotiations with Nawah. “It seems that the power plant operator is trying to obtain the multiple countries’ know-hows to the maximum extent possible while minimizing the cost of the project,” said an industry expert.
The Barakah nuclear power plant is the first nuclear power plant exported by South Korea and the LTMA is for maintenance for 10 to 15 years to come. Previously, Nawah discussed a private contract with the Team Korea consortium, and then suddenly veered to a public tender in 2017. Doosan Babcock and Allied Power took part from Britain and the United States, respectively.
The South Korean government is keeping a close eye on the situation. “It seems that Nawah is weighing various options, including split private subcontracts,” said the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, adding, “The client is yet to make a decision.”