Egypt has asked South Korea to train its nuclear energy engineers. The Egyptian government has formally made the request to Seoul, and the training could begin within the next year.

Egyptian engineers are to be trained at the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute in Daejon, 160 kilometres south of Seoul, according to the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). The state-run agency says that the request was made as part of KOICA’s support programme for developing economies.

In September 2006, the Egyptian government announced that it would revive 20-year old plans for its civilian nuclear power programme. The programme was shelved following the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986. The government also set a target for Egypt to generate 20 per cent of its electricity through renewable energy such as nuclear, water and wind power by 2020.

In June 2009, Egypt signed a consultancy contract with Australia’s WorleyParsons (WP) for the country’s first nuclear plant. WP announced that the consultancy contract would involve site and technology selection studies followed by work on the plant’s design, construction management, commissioning and start-up. The eight year contract is expected to be worth around $160m.

The profile of South Korea’s nuclear power capabilities has risen noticeably since the country agreed late last year to build four nuclear reactors for the UAE. A South Korean consortium managed to outbid established competitors from the US and France to win the $40bn contract for the GCC’s first nuclear project (MEED 27:12:09).