Shutdown of Five Aged Coal-fired Power Plants

Spotlight Activity: Shutdown of Five Aged Coal-fired Power Plants

According to the South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE), South Korea will suspend operation of five aged coal-fired power generation plants in Spring (March to June) as responses to the Governmental Comprehensive Countermeasures against Particulate Matter (published in September 2017 and the 8th Annual Government Electricity Supply Plan (December 2018). Five plants with ** marked below will be shut down starting in March.

Power PlantsInstalled Capacity (MW)Years of OperationLocationScheduled for Shut Down or Date ClosedOperator
Youngdong112544Gangreung, Ganwon ProvinceJuly 2017Namdong
2**20038Gangreung, Ganwon ProvinceJanuary 2019Namdong
Boryeong1**50034Boryeng, South Choongchung ProvinceMay 2022Chungbu
2**50033Boryeng, South Choongchung ProvinceMay 2022Chungbu
Samchunpo1**56034Gosung, South Kyungnam ProvinceDecember 2019Namdong
2**56034Gosung, South Kyungnam ProvinceDecember 2019Namdong
Seochun120034Seochun, South Choongchung Province July 2017Chungbu
220033Seochun, South Choongchung ProvinceJuly 2017Chungbu
Honam125045Yeosu, South Cheolla ProvinceJanuary 2021Dongseo
225045Yeosu, South Cheolla ProvinceJanuary 2021Dongseo

The amount of fine dust (PM2.5) will be reduced by the shutdown of the five old coal plants is expected to be 813 tons, corresponding to 8.6% of the 9,472 tons of coal power generation for four months of last year. Based on the measurement results, the South Korean Ministry of Environment will statistically analyze changes in emissions after shutdown and analyze air pollution changes through air quality models. Electricity demand will not be high compared to the winter and summer seasons in the shutdown period of March – June, and it is expected that stable energy supply and demand will be possible. However, in order to thoroughly prepare for an unexpected surge in demand and other generator failures, the South Korean government explained that it has secured additional supply capability through the adjustment of the generator maintenance schedule. Also, the government has said that in the event of an emergency, the stand-by generator will also be kept in a standby state for emergency operation and the necessary personnel will be deployed.

Status: Right Direction

Take Action

Please send the following message to the policy makers listed below:

In South Korea PM 10 and PM 2.5 have been increasingly serious issues. Last year, the pilot shut-down was implemented for eight coal-fired power generation plants in June. Since then, Seochun 1, 2 and Youngdong 1 have been permanently shut down. The remaining five plants will be shut down for 4 months. However, this is only a temporary solution. We strongly recommend that South Korea adheres to reducing coal dependence and to increasing more low carbon energies.

Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy 
Office for Energy and Resources 
Mail: Bldg. 12 5F, 402 Hannuri-daero, Sejong City, Republic of Korea (postal code. 30118)
Director: PARK Won-ju (Tel. +82-44-203-5700)
Action Officer: KO Eun-jung (Tel. +82-44-203-5701)

Ministry of Environment
Living Environment Policy Office
Air Quality Division
Director: LEE Ju-chang (Tel.  +82-44-201-6880)

Clean Air Planning Division
Director: HONG Dong-gon (Tel.  +82-44-201-6860)

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