South Korea is considering closing aged coal-fired power plants as part of efforts to curb fine dust emissions in light of worsening air pollution problems, the government said Wednesday.
The Office for Government Policy Coordination under the Prime Minister's Office has been preparing a set of comprehensive measures jointly with the ministries of environment, energy and finance to address the rising environmental concerns.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy has been drafting a plan to close the coal plants aged over 40 years, which are blamed as the main culprits of fine dust, along with old diesel vehicles.
Out of 53 coal power plants in South Korea, 11 are over 30 years old, and three have been in operation for more than 40 years.
The ministry said it will consult with other related organizations to either stop the operations of old power plants or replace them with liquefied natural gas facilities and reduce pollutants at the existing plants.
Policymakers have been making efforts to step up regional cooperation with neighboring countries to fight air pollution and to improve air quality.
Fine dust -- particles smaller than 10 micrometers -- has been known to cause various respiratory diseases and undermine the body's immune system. (Yonhap)