중앙데일리

Tidal plant to power Incheon

July 14,2009

Four years ago, the Korean government said it would launch a feasibility study on a plan to build one of the world’s largest tidal power plants in Incheon Bay, west of Seoul.

Yesterday, the JoongAng Ilbo obtained an interim plan for the plant from the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs, along with the results of that feasibility study. According to the plan, a 1,320-megawatt power plant will be built on a 157.45-square-kilometer area of sea near the islands of Ganghwa, Jangbong and Yeongjong. The government will build it by 2017 at a cost of 3.92 trillion won ($3.0 billion), the report said.

Currently, the world’s largest tidal power plant is located in Lance, France, and is capable of generating 240 megawatts of electricity, less than one-fifth of the Incheon plant’s projected capacity. The Korean government also hopes to build a tidal power plant with a capacity of 254 megawatts on Sihwa Lake in Gyeonggi Province next year.

In May, Korea built its first tidal power plant, capable of generating 1 megawatt, in Uldolmok on Jindo, an island off South Jeolla Province. The ministry said given that the capacity of a nuclear power plant is approximately 1,000 megawatts on average, the construction of a tidal power plant in Incheon on that scale will equip Korea with massive new reserves of electricity.

The report said the Incheon tidal power plant would meet 4.5 percent of national household demand for electricity and power 60 percent of Incheon’s homes.

The report said the economic benefits would override the costs 2.13 to 1, that the plant would save the equivalent of 3.54 million barrels of oil annually, and that it would reduce Korea’s emissions of carbon dioxide by 1.01 million tons each year.

The ministry said that the plan will be finalized next year after an environmental impact assessment, with construction to begin in 2011.


By Kim Sun-ha, Moon Gwang-lip [joe@joongang.co.kr]



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