South Korea’s Energy Ministry has announced that the country will increase the capacity of LNG-based power plants from 41.3 GW in 2020 to 59.1 GW in 2034, a rise of 43 per cent. Under its long-term energy transition blueprint, it will simultaneously reduce coal-fired power plants and nuclear reactors.
The Basic Plan for Power Supply 2020-34 outlines the closure of 30 aging coal-fired power plants, or half of the 60 plants currently operating in South Korea, by 2034. Of these 30 plants, 24 plants with a combined capacity of 12.7 GW will be converted into natural gas-fired power plants.
The Plan states that LNG-based power plants will have capacities of 43.3 GW in 2022, 55.5 GW in 2030, and 59.1 GW in 2034.
A senior official at the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy (MOTIE) said: “Coal-fired plants whose 30-year operational life cycles will expire by 2034, and as a result, 30 coal-fired power plants with a combined capacity of 15.3 GW will retire by then. Seven new coal-fired power plants with a combined capacity of 7.3 GW will be built by 2034 under existing permissions, but the total capacity would be reduced to 29 GW in 2034, down from 38.3 GW in 2022 and 32.6 GW in 2030.”
As a result, the portion of coal in South Korea’s power generation capacity mix will fall from 28.1 per cent in 2020 to 15 per cent by 2034.