|Deputy Prime Minister Hyun Oh-seok (center), along with North Jeolla Province Governor Kim Wan-joo (left) and Saemangeum Development Committee chairman Lee Yeon-taek, shovels earth during a ceremony to break the ground for the construction of a cogeneration power plant in Saemangeum on Monday. (Yonhap News)|
OCI, a Korean green energy solution provider, launched the construction of a cogeneration power plant at the Saemangeum industrial complex in North Jeolla Province on Monday, company officials said.
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Hyun Oh-seok, North Jeolla Province Governor Kim Wan-joo and other prominent figures attended the groundbreaking ceremony.
The 1 trillion won ($942 million) project to build a coal-powered combined heat and power plant is the first investment that the Saemangeum industrial complex has attracted.
The company said the power plant will help the industrial zone build the additional infrastructure necessary to attract further investment.
The complex, located within the reclaimed Saemangeum land by the West Sea, has been slow to attract investment, largely due to a lack of vision or master development plan.
The Saemangeum project, the biggest land reclamation scheme in the nation’s history, was completed in 2010, with the construction of the world’s longest seawall, stretching 33.9 km. The project added 400 square kilometers of land to the Korean Peninsula, roughly two-thirds the size of Seoul.
In a bid to boost investment attraction, the Ministry of Strategy and Finance revised a law to allow the construction of a cogeneration power plant within the complex last May. In addition, the government set up the Saemangeum Development Agency under the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport to spur land development.
Market watchers, however, said they still doubt the government’s vision to develop Saemangeum into a business district, particularly on the relatively small 13 billion won budget allocated to the Saemangeum Development Agency next year.
By Seo Jee-yeon (firstname.lastname@example.org