South Korea replacing coal-fired power plants with LNG units

South Korea has permanently closed two of its oldest coal-fired power plants to replace them with new LNG units, as part of a move to slash emissions.

The country’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said in a statement that the first and second unit at the Honam coal-fired power plant in Yeosu have stopped operations on January 1.

According to MOTIE, the two plants had provided electricity since 1973.

The site of the two units would be transformed into an environmentally-friendly power complex that would feature two LNG-fired power plants and a hydrogen fuel cell power plant, the ministry said.

The move is part of the government’s plan to phase out 10 aging coal power facilities and convert part of them into LNG-fired plants to reduce coal use.

South Korean refiner Hyundai Oilbank also recently revealed plans to build a power plant fueled by both LNG and blue hydrogen as it looks to slash emissions.

The unit would generate 230 tons of steam per hour and 290 MW of electricity and the firm plans to start commercial operations in 2025.

South Korean LNG importing giant Kogas said in October it would supply 320,000 tons of natural gas to Hyundai E&F and the Daesan LNG combined heat and power plant for nine years from 2026.

South Korea is one of the world’s largest LNG importers. Kogas recently said the company’s November gas sales rose almost 11 percent, continuing its monthly year-on-year rise during the entire year.

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