• Firm at the forefront of UAE's peaceful nuclear development programme
  • Acting on one of the largest project financings ever

Leading global law firm, Baker & McKenzie, advised Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) on the joint development with Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) of the Barakah nuclear power plant in the UAE and was co-counsel on its USD 24.4 billion project financing, which was signed in Abu Dhabi on 20 October. The project involves the design, construction, fuel supply and operation of the first nuclear power plant on the Arabian peninsular.

In one of the largest project financings ever, KEPCO will take an 18 per cent shareholding in the project with the remainder held by ENEC. Debt funding was provided by the Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM), the Government of Abu Dhabi, and a number of international and local commercial banks, comprising: National Bank of Abu Dhabi, First Gulf Bank, HSBC and Standard Chartered.

As the prime contractor, KEPCO will supply the power plant and initial fuel assemblies. The first of four state of the art Generation-3 APR-1400 reactors is scheduled to come online in late 2017, with the remaining three due to be online in stages between 2018-2020.  At that point in time, the 5600MW Barakah nuclear power plant, will be amongst the largest nuclear-generating facilities in the world.

Leading on the project, Neil Donoghue, London based partner and Global Nuclear Practice Group Head at Baker & McKenzie, said: "This is one of the most significant new-build projects in recent times and is of worldwide interest to the nuclear industry. The project has been developed against a commitment to the highest standards of safety, security and non-proliferation and represents a benchmark in respect of nuclear power development in new nuclear nations."

Calvin Walker, Global Head of Project Finance at Baker & McKenzie London, added: "This is an excellent example of a host Government combining in an innovative way with Export Credit Agencies , the international and local banking community and a world-leading developer, to finance a landmark infrastructure project with a unique risk profile."

The Baker & McKenzie team was lead by partners Neil Donoghue and Calvin Walker (London),  together with Won Lee, Head of Baker & McKenzie's Korea practice and Associates Tania Arora and Tom Pound (London).

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