Government to Switch off 8 Coal Power Plants to Fight Pollution

Angela Jung, May 16, 2017, 9:25 a.m.


President Moon Jae-in on Monday ordered a temporary shutdown of eight elderly coal power plants as an emergency measure to reduce air pollution. He also promised a new presidential agency that will fight air pollution. He said pollution measuring devices will be set up at 11,000 schools across the country with a budget of W60 billion (US$1=W1,123).

The government will temporarily switch off eight out of the coal power plants that are more than 30 years old for the month of June. The remaining two in Yeosu, South Jeolla Province will have to keep running because of high power demand in the area and the prohibitive cost of alternative energy sources. From next year, aged coal power plants will be shut down for the four months -- March to June -- when fine dust pollution is frequent and power demand relatively low. The aim is to shut all 10 down completely during Moon's term.

Moon also pledged to consider stopping the ongoing construction of nine new thermal power plants if they are still less than 10 percent complete.

Kim Su-hyun, the chief presidential secretary for social affairs, told reporters at Cheong Wa Dae the measures reflect "Moon's strong will to treat fine dust pollution as a matter of national urgency and find a fundamental solution."




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