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Power trading volume hits record in H1 on eased social distancing restrictions, early heat

This undated file photo shows air conditioning condenser units outside a building in Seoul. (Yonhap)
This undated file photo shows air conditioning condenser units outside a building in Seoul. (Yonhap)

South Korea's electricity transaction volume touched a new all-time high in the first half of the year due to eased social distancing restrictions and an early heat wave, data showed Monday.

The volume of power traded in Asia's fourth-largest economy stood at 269,432 gigawatt-hours (GWh) in the January-June period, up 3.9 percent from a year earlier, according to the data from the state-run Korea Electric Power Corp. and the Korea Power Exchange.

It marks the highest tally for any first half and the third-largest half-year figure. The previous first-half record was 262,555 GWh set in 2016.

The first-half record was attributed mainly to relaxed social distancing rules to cope with the coronavirus pandemic, which prompted plants and other service establishments to consume more electricity.

Also responsible was an unusually early heat wave that forced more offices and households to consume electricity for air conditioning, industry watchers said.

Power transaction volume renewed record highs in May and June.

An early heat spell has been gripping the country since late May, with even the nighttime temperature in the South Korean capital of Seoul remaining above 25 C on June 26, the first-ever such phenomenon in June.

The data also showed the value of electricity trade in the first half spiked nearly 61 percent on-year to 37.3 trillion won ($28.7 billion), the record high for any half year and marking the first time that the half-year value has surpassed the 30 trillion won mark. (Yonhap)

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