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Korea to sharply hike capacity for power generation

In response to rising demand for electricity, the government plans to expand the nation’s electricity generation capacity to 110 million kilowatts by 2027, up 37.5 percent from the current 80 million kilowatts, officials said on Wednesday.

The officials from the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said the plan will be included in the upcoming Sixth Basic Plan on Electricity Demand and Supply to be published by the ministry at the end of this month.

The report, which has been released every two years since 2002, will also include the energy mix to achieve the electricity generation goal for the coming 15 years.

Industry watchers predicted that in the energy demand and supply plan, the composition of nuclear power in the energy mix will slide to below the current 27 percent, while dependency on gas and renewable energy sources to generate electricity will increase.

Meanwhile, the nation’s leading power and energy companies pay close attention to the plan as it includes a list of contractors to build additional power plants. About 26 private and state-run energy and power companies allegedly applied for those construction projects last year.

Competition for the 2,000- or 4,000-megawatt thermal plant construction project in Samcheok, Gangwon Province, is heating up the most. About six including POSCO Energy, Tongyang Power, STX Energy and Samsung Corporation applied for the project.

For instance, POSCO Energy said it would invest $7.56 billion to build a 4,000-megawatt thermal power plant complex in Samcheok by 2022. Tongyang Power said it will invest the same amount of money to build a 2,000-megawatt thermal power plant, if it is selected as the final bidder.

Key criteria for evaluating the intent for power plant builders include electricity generation and transmission cost, public acceptance, and policy effectiveness.

By Seo Jee-yeon (jyseo@heraldcorp.com)
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