The South Korean consortium has won the estimated $40bn contract to build four nuclear power plants in the UAE.

According to sources close to the project the consortium, which is comprised of Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco), Hyundai Engineering & Construction and Samsung Corporation, will build four nuclear power plants in Sila which is in Abu Dhabi’s Western Region, about 350 kilometres west of Abu Dhabi island.

“The contract was signed at 1:30 today [27 December],” says a source close to the consortium. “They say it is worth $40bn.”

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak arrived in the UAE on 26 December to provide political support for consortium.

The other two consortiums that were bidding for the contract were a French team of Areva, GdF Suez and Total with the US’ Bechtel Corporation and France’s Vinci as its contractors; and a consortium of the US’ GE and Japan’s Hitachi (MEED 27:12:09).