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(LEAD) S. Korea discusses nuclear power cooperation with Poland, Czech Republic

09:16 January 19, 2023

(ATTN: ADDS additional photo)

SEOUL, Jan. 19 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's Industry Minister Lee Chang-yang has met with senior officials from Poland and the Czech Republic to discuss ways to enhance cooperation in nuclear power generation and other advanced industry sectors, his office said Thursday.

The meetings were held in Davos on Wednesday (local time) on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF), as Lee visited there accompanying President Yoon Suk Yeol, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

During the meeting with Poland's Deputy Prime Minister Jacek Sasin, Lee shared the developments of the project to construct a nuclear reactor at the Patnow power station, for which South Korea's state-run Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) Co., signed a letter of intent with Polish firms for joint work in October last year.

The minister also proposed signing a separate governments-level agreement regarding the project to further deepen bilateral ties, according to the ministry.

"Lee stressed South Korea's outstanding capabilities to build world-class nuclear power plants within the shortest period of time and in the most cost-effective manner. He vowed to successfully wrap up the joint project so as to help Poland better achieve energy security and carbon neutrality goals," the ministry said in a release.

If the two nations clinch a final deal for the Patnow project, it would be South Korea's first nuclear power plant export since the 2009 Barakah project in the United Arab Emirates.

South Korea set a target of exporting 10 nuclear power plants by 2030 as part of its strong push to boost the nuclear energy sector.

This photo, provided by South Korea's industry ministry, shows Minister Lee Chang-yang (L) speaking with Poland's Deputy Prime Minister Jacek Sasin (R) in Davos, Switzerland, on Jan. 18, 2022. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Lee had a separate meeting the Czech industry minister, Jozef Síkela, and promoted South Korea's advanced capabilities in the nuclear energy field with which the country built 36 reactors over the past 40 years and has decades of experience in stably managing those facilities.

South Korea is currently bidding on the Czech Republic's project to build an additional reactor in its southern municipality of Dukovany.

"The two sides also agreed to expand cooperation in wider fields, such as hydrogen, electric vehicles, batteries and semiconductors," the ministry said.

This file photo, provided by South Korea's state-run Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) Co. on Nov. 11, 2022, shows the Patnow power station in Poland. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

graceoh@yna.co.kr

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