The Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Corporation (KHNP) held a ceremony on April 27 to celebrate the relocation of its main office to Gyeongju City, North Gyeongsang Province and unveiled the “Comprehensive Plan for Gyeonju Development” to realize its slogan “New & Clean Energy Silk Road”.
At the ceremony, Jo Seok, president of the corporation, announced that it would attract 100 partner firms in the nuclear power sector to the city so that the corporation, the firms and the city can thrive together.
The corporation is planning to come up with specific incentives to that end by running a council with the city while launching a series of projects to assist in the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the region. One of the examples is a fund of 100 billion won to be provided for the SMEs at low interest rates. A training institute for supplying 100 nuclear power plant engineers a year is scheduled to be opened in the region in 2018, too.
In addition, the Hwabaek International Convention Center sponsored by the corporation is to attract domestic and international nuclear power conferences so that Gyeongju City can turn itself into a hot spot of the MICE industry. In this context, the corporation is to play host to a general meeting of the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) in Gyeongju in 2017. Gyeongju City also has held a cultural Silk Road event every year to find the root of the kingdom of Shilla.
In the meantime, KHNP will move fast to nurture new energy industries and implement 10 projects in the power generation field this year. To do that, it created a new project division in February this year and is expanding its business into global hydropower markets. It has built a nuclear power plant in UAE since 2009, and will also explore ways to expand its business through exports of nuclear power plants to foreign countries.
KHNP has made a direct investment worth 185 billion won in phases into a number of projects including development of new projects, while installing solar energy generation facilities in private houses and parking lots as well as exploring investment projects jointly with the private sector, including establishment of greenhouses by using hot waste water emitted from nuclear power plants.
The company pushes ahead with newly selected seven projects including the Songdo Fuel Cell in the new & renewable energy field, and plans to invest 1 trillion won over the next five years for the projects such as Goheung County’s wind power development, Pohang’s ground heat development, Shingori’s solar power, and Gwangyang’s bio industry.
Last year, KHNP achieved the best performance since its foundation by recording 10.6 trillion won in the sales and 2.5 trillion won in the net profit. That could be attributed to the increase in electrical power sales coming from stable operation of the plants by recording an 82.58% utilization rate of the nuclear power plants. The cases of nuclear power suspension dropped to 3 last year from 9 in 2012, which was due to the yearly increase in utilization rate of nuclear power. The debt decrease exceeded the target of 506.3 billion won by 135 percent or 191.6 billion won.
KHNP CEO Cho Suk said, “As the nuclear power generation is a practical alternative to respond to the era of high oil prices and the climate change, countries around the world are trying to collect ideas to utilize nuclear energy in a wise way,” stressing, “Amid such a global trend, we will seek ways to revitalize our businesses at home and abroad while attaining the highest level of its safety management by putting safety in the first priority.