SK E&S named preferred bidder for Saemangeum Project

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SK E&S named preferred bidder for Saemangeum Project

A bird’s-eye view of the start-up cluster SK E&S plans to develop in North Jeolla as part of the Saemangeum Project. [SK E&S]

A bird’s-eye view of the start-up cluster SK E&S plans to develop in North Jeolla as part of the Saemangeum Project. [SK E&S]

 
SK E&S has been selected as preferred bidder for a government project that would see it building a range of facilities and managing a floating solar power plant on Korea's west coast.

 
The project is led by Saemangeum Development and Investment Agency (SDIA), a government agency that is part of a larger project to develop a new economic hub on the west coast.
 
SK E&S, the energy affiliate of SK Group, said Wednesday that it was named preferred bidder to build facilities and operate a 200-megawatt floating solar power plant, part of a larger 2.4-gigawatt facility planned by SDIA.
 
“If SK E&S receives the order for this project, it will become the largest [provider of] floating solar power plants [by capacity] among private companies,” wrote SK E&S in a statement.
 
Saemangeum, which roughly translates to “bringing riches and prosperity,” refers to the central west coast of Korea, including Buan, Gimje and Gunsan in North Jeolla.
 
Early last year, the SDIA announced that it would provide incentives, including offering contracts, to businesses that invest in the Saemangeum Project. Four businesses have been selected, including SK E&S.
 
In the bidding that took place on Tuesday, SK E&S won the contract to develop the Saemangeum areas by demonstrating its idea of building a data center and investing in a start-up cluster. Winning the contract to build facilities and operate the floating solar power plants is in part thanks to the attractiveness of the overall pitch to develop the Saemangeum area.
 
SK E&S said it will contribute to making Saemangeum turn into a hub of future industries like Almere, a planned city in the province of Flevoland in the Netherlands.
 
Almere is known as a self-sufficient city, with 5,000 new jobs created every year.
 
Similar to Almere, SK E&S hopes to vitalize the local economy by creating quality jobs and a start-up cluster. In the long-term, it plans to build a data center that uses the electricity generated from the Saemangeum project, which it hopes will attract domestic and international IT companies.
  
Specifically, SK E&S plans to invest 100 billion won ($85 million) into creating the start-up cluster, which it expects will attract high profile companies.
 
SK E&S said it plans to operate facilities that can generate 5 gigawatts of renewable energy in Korea by 2030. It currently operates renewable energy facilities that can generate 110 megawatts of energy in Korea. Solar energy accounts for 47 megawatts of the company’s total energy generation capacity.
 
“Companies face a situation where they aren’t guaranteed survival without a pre-emptive response to climate change and carbon emissions,” said SK E&S President Yu Jeong-joon. “Based on this project, [SK E&S] will contribute not just to leading the supply of clean energy, but also to the local economy.”
 
BY JIN MIN-JI   [jin.minji@joongang.co.kr]
 

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