Kumho Petrochemical goes solar

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Kumho Petrochemical goes solar

Kumho Petrochemical said yesterday it has entered the solar power plant business through its affiliate Korea Energy Power Plant.

The nation’s leading petrochemical group said Korea Energy Power Plant recently completed installation of solar power facilities on the roofs of the Korea Aerospace Industries plant and warehouses in Sacheon, South Gyeongsang. Electricity production will begin today.

Kumho Petrochemical said the facility has an annual capacity of 6,602 megawatt hours, enough to power 1,500 households. The company has invested 14.5 billion won ($12.6 million) and leased the site until 2027.

Kumho Petrochemical last year included solar power generation and sales in its business plan and acquired an 80.77 percent stake of Korea Energy Power Plant for 2.1 billion won. Seoul Photo Voltaic, which makes solar modules, owns the remaining shares.

Korea Energy Power Plant will sell electricity and Renewable Energy Certificates to other power producers. Under the government’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard, electricity generators with capacities of 500 megawatts or more must get at least 2 percent of their power from renewable sources.

These companies can either build their own facilities or purchase energy certificates to meet the requirement.

Korea Energy Power Plant is expected to have annual revenue of 2.4 billion won.

Kumho Petrochemical got into the energy business in 1997 with a cogeneration plant. It currently has two cogeneration plants in Yeosu, South Jeolla, with a total production capacity of 155 megawatt hours.

The company is headed by Park Chan-koo, younger brother of Kumho Asiana Group Chairman Park Sam-koo. Their relationship has not been great since 2009, when Kumho Asiana suffered financial difficulties after acquiring Daewoo Engineering and Construction.

BY JOO KYUNG-DON [kjoo@joongang.co.kr]

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