South Korea's state-run energy firm KEPCO on Wednesday, was selected as the preferred bidder for the U.K.'s NuGeneration consortium, a 19-billion dollar nuclear project billed as the largest nuclear plant in western Europe.
Toshiba, which holds a 60 percent stake in the NuGen consortium in charge of building the plant in the northwest of England, chose KEPCO as its preferred bidder to build three nuclear facilities.
Toshiba has been suffering financially due to losses in its U.S. nuclear business, Westinghouse, earlier this year, forcing it to withdraw from the overseas nuclear business
KEPCO has been competing with China General Nuclear for the contract.
But KEPCO's successful performance in the United Arab Emirates, along with China's poor cyber-security record, helped it beat the Chinese company.
According to KEPCO, the company will negotiate with Toshiba over the next few months, aiming to sign a deal sometime in the first half of next year with the approval of the British government.
With most details undecided at present, it may take as long as 2 to 3 years to finalize the deal.
If the deal goes ahead, it would be the second overseas nuclear project contract for KEPCO since the project in the UAE 8 years ago
,and with its victory in Britain, the firm plans to expand its nuclear exports to other parts of the world.
Experts say that KEPCO winning the contract shows the competitiveness of Korea's nuclear industry, and that the deal will open new doors for the country's entry into the 548-trillion dollar global nuclear energy market.
Park Hee-jun, Arirang News.