S.Korea Doosan in talks with EDF for $2.8 bln maintenance contract

SEOUL Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:06pm EST

SEOUL Jan 22 (Reuters) - South Korea's Doosan Power Systems Ltd is in talks to secure a maintenance contract worth 1.7 billion pounds ($2.8 billion) for nuclear power plants operated in Britain by French state-controlled utility EDF, South Korean media reported on Wednesday.

EDF owns and operates 15 nuclear plants at eight nuclear power stations in Britain. They have a total installed capacity of 8.8 million kilowatts (KW).

The duration of the possible contract is more than 17 years, the media added. A spokesman at Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Co Ltd, or parent company of DPS, said: "the deal is under discussion but nothing has been finalised."

Asia's fourth-largest economy has been under pressure to curb its use of nuclear power in the wake of a scandal over fake safety certificates for parts at some reactors and public unease sparked by Japan's Fukushima disaster.

But Seoul remains deeply committed to nuclear energy, and aims to sell nuclear technology abroad. A consortium led by state-owned Korea Electric Power Corp won a contract in 2009 to build four nuclear reactors in the United Arab Emirates and started construction in mid-2012.

($1 = 0.6074 British pounds) (Reporting by Meeyoung Cho; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)