Lee Chang-yang, left, minister of Trade, Industry and Energy, speaks during the Energy Commission meeting at the Plaza Hotel Seoul, Friday. Courtesy of Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy
Korea has gone all-out to revive its nuclear power generation industry under the Yoon Suk-yeol administration as Lee Chang-yang, minister of Trade, Industry and Energy, will visit the Czech Republic and Poland from June 28 to July 1 in order to win new power plant contracts, the ministry said Sunday.
The two European countries are undergoing a process to build new nuclear power plants for their own energy security and to achieve carbon neutrality goals. Once an industry leader in the sector ― before the previous administration’s nuclear phase out policy ― Korea is expected to revamp its nuclear power generation-related businesses through such overseas deals.
“Minister Lee plans to visit the Czech Republic and Poland for his first overseas business meetings since taking the office to discuss industrial and energy cooperation with the Central European Countries,” the ministry said.
During his visit, Lee will meet his counterparts Jozef Sikela, minister of Industry and Trade, and Milos Vystrcil, senate head, in the Czech Republic while he is scheduled to meet Anna Moskwa, minister of Climate and Environment, and Waldemar Buda, minister of Economic Development and Technology, in Poland.
“The minister will promote Korea to the Czech Republic and Poland as the best partner for nuclear power plant cooperation, thanks to its excellent capabilities in construction and equipment manufacturing, and discuss specific measures for nuclear power plant cooperation,” the ministry added.
The industry minister will also discuss ways to strengthen cooperation with the two European countries in high-tech industries such as electric vehicles, hydrogen and batteries, which are of common interests for all three countries.
The move apparently came after President Yoon Suk-yeol vowed to make all-out efforts to support Korea’s nuclear power generation-related companies and industry because the previous Moon Jae-in administration’s radical plan to abolish nuclear power plants drove the related industrial ecosystem into dire straits.
As Europe acknowledged, early this year, that nuclear power is essential for carbon neutrality to overcome the climate crisis, the previous Moon administration’s nuclear power phase-out policy that didn’t come with any detailed backup plan and drew criticism.
In line with the Yoon administration’s policy to revamp the country’s nuclear power industry, the Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) has been inviting journalists from the Czech Republic and Poland to Korea, from June 20 to July 1, to promote the superiority of the country’s nuclear power technology.
In the first week of the two-week-long event, Czech journalists took a look around KHNP’s headquarters and nuclear power generation facilities here in Korea while the second week of the event featured Polish journalists. The journalists also met the industry minister on June 24 and had a question and answer session.
“We are pleased to promote our nuclear power plants to opinion leaders in target export countries. We hope it will be a good opportunity to discover Korea’s various charms as well as excellent technologies,” KHNP CEO Chung Jae-hoon said.
Source: The Korea Times