The Korea Herald


$48 million set to boost Jeju’s corporate edge

By 고영아

Published : April 1, 2011 - 19:02

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South Korea will invest a record amount of 53.8 billion won ($48 million) in Jeju Island this year to boost regional businesses in industries such as water and energy management, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said Friday.

The government will be spending about half of the funds on developing renewable energy facilities such as offshore wind turbines, while another 23 billion won will be used to build a smart grid.

“Our hope is for Jeju Island to develop into a global center for tourism, health care and green energy,” Park Young-june, Second Vice Minister of Knowledge Economy, said during a conference at the Jeju Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

State investment in Jeju has been on the rise on rising calls to refurbish all sectors of the island to help maintain its edge as a popular tourist destination.

Last year, 7.5 million tourists visited the island. Jeju expects the figure to rise to 8.2 million tourists this year.

A smart grid incorporates solar panels and wind power generators into the main power grid to make possible real-time monitoring of electricity output and demand. It also allows consumers to store energy and sell it back to the power company.

Multiple consortia involving more than 160 companies including SK Telecom, KT, LG Electronics and state-run Korea Electric Power Corp. have already invested 240 billion won in the project for building smart grid systems on Jeju Island and are operating their own smart grid system there.

Other planned projects include developing premium local beers, and meeting, incentive travel, convention and exhibition industries, the ministry said.

By Koh Young-aah (