Prime Contractor Selection

On December 29, 2009, the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) was selected to design, build and help operate up to four nuclear energy plants.

KEPCO, South Korea, was selected after a year-long rigorous evaluation process run by a team of 75 experts in the field. All tenders were evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Safety
  • Deliverability
  • Contract compliance
  • Human resource development
  • Commercial competitiveness


The UAE’s ‘Prime Contract’ calls for the KEPCO team to design, build and help operate four 1,400-MW nuclear energy units. The value of the contract equaled approximately US$20 billion, with a high percentage of the contract being offered under a fixed-price arrangement.

The prime contractor selection process was designed to identify the best long-term partner for the UAE as it undertakes its peaceful nuclear energy program. The process was guided by the Policy of the United Arab Emirates on the Evaluation and Potential Development of Peaceful Nuclear Energy, which sets strict standards for safety and security, non-proliferation and sustainability.

A team of more than 75 dedicated experts evaluated the bids for the UAE’s first nuclear energy plants. Collectively, the team boasted more than 900 years of directly relevant experience in the nuclear industry. The team was made up of experts in nuclear power plant safety, design and construction; operations and maintenance; nuclear quality assurance, supply chain management and procurement; nuclear fuel management, siting analysis (including environmental impact assessment, seismology, geology, meteorology and hydrology); finance (including generation cost modeling and project finance); legal and contracting; program management; utility operations; and communications and community relations.

In parallel with the construction project, extensive training, human resource development, and education programs have been launched as the UAE builds the capacity to eventually staff the vast majority of the nuclear energy program with national talent, and develops the industrial infrastructure and commercial businesses to serve a thriving nuclear energy industry.