South Korea’s state-run power company has bought a 17-percent stake in a Canadian uranium producer, securing a stable source of fuel for its nuclear power plants, a report said yesterday.
Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO) acquired the stake from Canada’s Denison Mines Corp for US$68 million, Yonhap news agency said.
KEPCO has also signed an agreement on a strategic alliance with the Canadian company, it said.
The deal will allow KEPCO to buy about 300 tonnes of uranium a year between next year and 2015, or nearly 8 percent of South Korea’s annual uranium consumption, it said.
KEPCO was allowed to appoint two board members of Denison Mines and participate in its mine sales or new investment projects, Yonhap said.
Denison Mines said last month Korea Electric and certain of its units agreed to buy 58 million common shares of the Canadian uranium producer.
South Korea, which relies heavily on oil imports, has tried to diversify its energy sources.
The country has 20 commercial nuclear reactors that meet more than 30 percent of its electricity demand and plans to build more.
KEPCO, which supplies almost all the power in Asia’s fourth-biggest economy, is also seeking to invest in uranium mining in Africa as demand for the fuel is expected to rise.
KEPCO has plans to purchase one or two mines within this year, the Seoul-based company said in an e-mailed statement yesterday, without elaborating.