South Korea’s state-run utility giant Korea Electric Power Corp. is pushing ahead with an undersea power grid project between South Korea and Japan in an effort to export electricity to the neighboring country, according to a local media report on Friday.
The project aims to connect South Korea’s second-largest metropolis of Busan via Tsushima (Daemado Island), a Japanese island situated between Korea and Japan, to Japan’s Kyushu Island, with a 200-kilometer undersea cable.
A KEPCO official said, “As the plan is still at a very early stage, we are cautious about making comments. However, I believe the project would benefit both countries if it can be realized.”
Industry watchers said this project could be a win-win strategy for both countries.
KEPCO, which has recently seen an oversupply of power, is looking for a way to export extra power to create another income-generation source.
Japan is looking for more stable and cheap power supply sources, as its trade deficit has grown recently due to the rising costs of energy imports following the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011.
If the power grid between the two nations can be built, Korea can export its surplus power to Japan.
According to sources, Japanese telecommunication giant SoftBank’s chief executive Son Jeong-ui has shown great interest in the project.
Son reportedly met with the management of KEPCO to discuss the power grid project recently.
This project is in line with the proposal he made following the Fukushima accident in March 2011.
He proposed to develop an “Asia Super Grid,” to connect East Asian countries including Korea, Japan, China, Mongolia and Russia via undersea power cables. China, Russia and Mongolia, with vast renewable energy resources, could provide clean and cheap energy to countries with less resources such as Korea and Japan.
“The power grid project between Korea and Japan can be the first step for the Asia Super Grid initiative,” an industry source said.
By Shin Ji-hye (firstname.lastname@example.org)