US power giant Mirant Corp is shelving plans to enter the South Korean electricity market and will sell its rights to build a 520 MW power plant, a company official said on Wednesday.

The Atlanta-based company announced in December it would buy Hyundai Energy from Hyundai Group, along with the land and rights to build a power plant to supply electricity to state-owned monopoly Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO).

“We have a development project that we’re looking to close in 2002. We plan to pull out entirely,” said the official, who asked not to be named.

He said Mirant may at first sell off a portion of the project to a partner while retaining a share for itself, but that the end goal was to pull out of the project entirely.

Mirant pledged to invest $300 million when it unveiled plans to enter South Korea, which is set to privatise its power sector starting later this year. Construction on the plant was to begin in the third quarter of 2004.