Czech Republic Energy

Daewoo ups efforts on Czech nuclear project

| 2024-05-31 2 min read

Daewoo ups efforts on Czech nuclear project

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Czech companies signed memorandums of understanding (MOUs) in connection with Korea’s Daewoo concerning the construction tender for a nuclear power plant in Dukovany, south Czechia, on Monday, 27 May. 

Daewoo Engineering & Construction (E&C) President Baek Jung-wan made the announcement at the Czechia-Korea Nuclear Engineering & Construction Forum in Prague, with government officials and nuclear industry representatives among the around 150 attendees.

The following day Daewoo met local officials in Dukovany and discussed local employment opportunities, regional economic collaboration, and the safety of the Korean nuclear technology.

Korean firm hopes project will be gateway into Europe

The Czech government in 2019 gave preliminary approval for at least one new nuclear power unit to replace the 4 units expected to shut down from 2035-37. 

Since then Daewoo E&C has been actively working on its potential project with Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP), which would make the company its main contractor, overseeing infrastructure construction and equipment installation. The other project partners would include Doosan Enerbility and Kepco Engineering & Construction.

A successful tender would initiate the first export of a Korean nuclear power plant since the Barakah plant in the United Arab Emirates in 2009. Korea hopes that the Czech project would open up the European market, and has plans to export ten nuclear plants by 2030.

In November 2023, KHNP CEO Whang Joo-ho said the preferred bidder for Dukovany would be selected by the first half of 2024, and the contract would be closed by the end of that year. 

In April 2024, Daewoo E&C received TUV SUD nuclear supply chain quality-management-system certification, a European requirement.

US, France also bidding

The project aims to organise the commencement of construction in 2029, with the first trial operation scheduled for 2036. Czechia will make finance available at government interest rates, but is not offering subsidies on operating costs or preferential electricity rates.

US firm Westinghouse and French company Electricite de France are also participating in the tender. In January 2021 Chinese companies were excluded from bidding on advice from EU and NATO member states’ security services. Russia’s Rosatom was also barred three months later, in light of allegations that Russian agents perpetrated the Vrbetice ammunition warehouses explosions in 2014.