S Korea mulls building six more gas-fired power plants by late 2017
Seoul (Platts)--23Jan2013/437 am EST/937 GMT
South Korea is considering to build six more gas-fired power plants,
with a combined capacity of 5.06 million kW, by the end of 2017, as part of
an effort to meet rising electricity demand amid nuclear safety concerns, a
government official said Wednesday.
A newly revised long-term power supply plan calls for building six-gas
fired power plants -- a 950,000 kW plant at Dangjin and a 900,000 kW plant at
Pyeongtaek, both the west coast; a 400,000 kW plant at Ulsan on the southeast
coast; a 920,000 kW plant at Tongyeong on the south coast; a 940,000 kW plant
in Pocheon, west of Seoul; and a 950,000 kW plant at Yeoju, south of Seoul.
If the government proceeds with the plan, the gas-fired power plants
would begin commercial production between June 2015 and December 2017,
according to the official, speaking on condition of anonymity. This would
boost the country's LNG demand.
South Korea is also considering to build six coal-fired power plants,
with a combined capacity of 10.74 million kW, between June 2018 and the end
of 2020 under the new power supply plan, the source said.
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The total capacity of gas-fired power plants as well as coal-fired power
plants in the country was not available.
The proposal comes at a time when the country's electricity demand has
been on the rise due to economic recovery and more extreme temperatures --
lower in winter and higher in summer.
South Korea is increasingly worried about power shortages as nuclear
reactors that account for 30% of the country's total electricity consumption
have recently suffered a series of malfunctions that have led to temporary
shutdowns, triggering nuclear safety concerns. The country's nuclear reactors
experienced temporary unplanned shutdowns more than 15 times last year on the
back of malfunctioning equipment. It restarted two of three troubled reactors
late December. Another nuclear reactor was, however, shut January 17 due to a
The Ministry of Knowledge Economy, which is responsible for energy,
industry and commerce, said the plan for more power plants has not been
finalized yet. "The new long-term power supply plan would be disclosed early
February," said Park Song-Taek, a senior official in charge of the ministry's
electricity sector. The ministry would provide details such as how to meet
an increase in LNG demand when the long-term plan is announced next month, he
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