Korea to unplug eight coal power plants during winter on excess supply

2019.11.28 14:39:22

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South Korea will unplug eight units of coal-fueled power generators during winter as a part of efforts to reduce dust emissions on confidence of excess supply despite heating demand.

According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on Thursday, maximum demand for electricity during winter is projected to be 88.6 million kilowatts under the assumption that the temperature will remain at standard minus 5.8 degrees Celsius, or 91.8 million kilowatts under intense cold temperature of minus 8.4 degrees Celsius.

The standard projection is based on 10 years of lowest temperature among average temperature of 72 hours upon peak electricity demand every year for 30 years while the average of 3 lowest years for severe cold period.

The ministry projected maximum electricity demand during winter this year to be at similar to last year’s 88-91.6 million kilowatts.

The country’s capacity to supply electricity during this year’s winter peak was projected at an all-time high of 103.85 million kilowatts with reserve level hitting 11.35 million kilowatts. The ministry said that it has also secured 7.62 million to 9.51 million kilowatts of additional power reserves.

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The Korean government earlier designated December 1 to February 29 a period for implementing power supply control to combat dust pollution.

An unnamed government official said that it will supply additionally reserved power when necessary to avoid any setbacks.

Given the supply condition, the government will go ahead with its plan to suspend operation units of 8 to 15 coal-powered plants.

The remaining coal-powered plants will maintain their power output at 80 percent of total capacity, the ministry said, particularly during weekends when more families enjoy outdoor activities.

The ministry expected that the measures will be as effective as suspending operations of 9 to 16 coal-powered plants over the three month period and 20 to 25 plants during weekends. They will also help reduce fine dust emissions by 2,352 tons, which is 44 percent of last year’s total emissions.

By Lee Eun-joo

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