As part of a policy measure to address the fine dust problem, the government will shut down eight out of ten obsolete coal-fired power plants older than 30 years for the month of June. Beginning next year, it will close the power plants for the spring months from March to June when dust is at highest levels.
President Moon Jae-in announced the plan on May 15 at Eunjeong Elementary School in Seoul's southwest in a class on the fine dust. In addition to shutting down old coal-based power plants temporarily, the government will close for good ten old power plants including two plants in Samcheonpo in the nation's southeast, with the time for closure moved up before the originally scheduled 2025.
There are 59 coal-fueled power generators in the country, of which obsolete ones older than 30 years are ten run by three state-run power generation companies.
The President also promised that he will make sure to install fine dust measuring devices in 11,000 K-12 schools, saying, "It will cost about 60 billion won in total as it costs 6 million won per device. I will do it no matter how much it will cost."
Yoo Young-chan, Cheongwadae spokesperson for communication with people, explained, "The President's decision to temporarily shut down coal-fired power plants reflects his willingness to make the fine dust problem a priority policy issue." A Presidential Palace official said, however, the temporary shutdown in operations would result in the reduction of 1-2 percent of fine dust levels. As for a possible hike in electricity prices, he explained that Korea Electric Power Corp. will absorb the additional cost of 0.2 percent.