Korea District Heating Corp. (KDHC) was founded in 1985 for the purpose of contributing to the promotion of saving energy and improving living standards through the efficient running of district heating. For the last 24 years, KDHC has grown into the world’s largest district heating company by providing convenient and effective district heating to about one million households nationwide. KDHC has also made a big contribution to the national economy through the efficient use of energy and improvements in the quality of air. By diversifying into electricity and renewable energy while promoting district heating to new areas, the company aims to become the No.1 environment-friendly energy company with the capacity to serve two million households nationwide and of making a total sales turnover of 2.6 trillion won by 2015.
Under the district heating system, apartments and business and commercial buildings no longer need to individually install heat generation systems. Instead, cogeneration plants and massive-scale heat generation facilities equipped with cutting-edge pollution-preventive facilities economically generate heating energy and supply it to vast regions. This advanced urban infrastructure offers superior energy saving and pollution reduction when compared to existing heating methods. Under the district cooling system, massive heat generation facilities economically produce hot or cold water and supply it to certain districts. This advanced cooling system, using extra heat from co-generation plants and alternative electric energy resources helps reduce power peak loads in the summer.
The advanced district-type community energy system (CES) business generates heat from small-scale heating resources and supplies electricity to certain clusters of buildings. KDHC is pushing ahead with Korea’s first district-type community energy system business to be constructed in the Sangam Housing Development Zone.
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In addition, KDHC is participating in the domestic market of existing combined heat and power plants (CHPs). The company sells electricity generated from CHPs at Daegu, Suwon and Cheonju, at the Korea Power Exchange.
KDHC also promotes full-scale power generation business by installing medium/large CHPs at newly integrated energy supply business areas such as the Hwaseong, Paju, and Songdo Districts. The company is also conducting research in preparation for the introduction of free competition in the power distribution and sales markets.
Through agreements with the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy to take part in the supply of new and renewable energy sources, KDHC is investing heavily developing solar lights, solar heat, wind power, bio-energy and other new and renewable energy sources. The company invested a total of 41 billion won in solar, light and wind power generation, with these now generating 25,000 MWh a year.
KDHC also invested a total of 23.5 billion won in areas such as harnessing waste incineration heat, landfill gases, food waste fermentation gases, and geothermic energy, generating heating energy totaling 1,318 Gcal a year. KDHC will build co-generation plants and solar heat and waste incineration facilities using biomass. KDHC aims to supply new and renewable energy at 30% of its total energy quantity to 10,000 new households by 2010.
Aware of the importance of R&D investment, KDHC established the Technology Research Center in January 1996, and formulated mid- and long-term district heating technology R&D plans in early 1997. Likewise, in an effort to boost R&D efforts, KDHC expanded its R&D Center to conduct research in areas such as heat energy production, and transport, as well as the environment and new and renewable energy sources. Since 1993, having joined international organizations such as IEA and Euroheat & Power, KDHC has also endeavored to acquire the latest technologies and information from nations that have advanced district heating systems.