Lee calls for efforts to prevent blackouts

By Chung Joo-won
  • Published : Jul 27, 2012 - 20:41
  • Updated : Jul 27, 2012 - 20:41

President Lee Myung-bak instructed state bodies managing the electricity supply on Friday to cope with rising demand so there is no repeat of last year’s rolling blackouts.

Lee made the remarks during his visit to Korea Power Exchange in southern Seoul to check whether the electricity supply was stable.

There have been concerns that the nation could fail to meet soaring power demand as electricity demand spikes due to scorching temperatures.
President Lee Myung-bak inspects the control center of the Korea Power Exchange in southern Seoul on Friday. At left is KEPCO CEO Kim Joong-kyum. (Yonhap News)

According to news reports, the country’s energy reserve levels have remained dangerously low. They fell to as low as 5.1 percent on Wednesday, far below the stable level of 10 percent.

The blackout in September last year, which cut off electricity to millions of homes and businesses, was caused by the government’s failure to meet higher-than-expected electricity demand due to unseasonably high temperatures.

Knowledge Economy Minister Hong Suk-woo and state-run Korea Electric Power Corp. CEO Kim Joong-kyum accompanied President Lee on the visit to KPX.

Hong said that the nation should revive early the suspended operation of the Kori-1 nuclear power plant to boost the power supply capacity.

The minister said that the nuclear plant should be in operation from Aug. 3 at the latest.

By Chung Joo-won (