S Korea announces $28.5 billion energy plan

S Korea announces $28.5 billion energy plan

Seoul: South Korea on Sunday announced a massive investment plan to build more power plants, including 12 new nuclear reactors in the next four years, to meet growing energy demand.

It plans to spend 37 trillion won ($28.5 billion) between 2009 and 2022 constructing 12 commercial reactors and 19 thermoelectric power plants, the ministry of knowledge economy said in a statement.

The ministry said 12 nuclear reactors — including eight under construction — would be completed by 2012.

Eleven of the thermoelectric power plants to be built by 2022 would be fuelled by liquefied natural gas, seven by coal and one by fuel oil, it said.

South Korea, which relies heavily on oil imports, has tried to reduce its dependence on crude, diversify energy sources and cut down on the emission of greenhouse gases amid increasing power demand at home.

The country now has 20 commercial nuclear reactors and 85 thermoelectric power plants fuelled by either coal, gas or oil.

Nuclear power plants meet 34% of the country’s total electricity demand this year, and they will cover 48% by 2022, the ministry said.

It said the country’s total electric power generating capacity would increase to 100.89 million kilowatts by 2022, up from 71.36 million now.

The country would remove 22 old existing power generating units, including 13 thermoelectric power plants run by heavy fuel oil, it aded.