Chongjin City power station

From Global Energy Monitor

Chongjin City power station (청진화력발전소), also known as the Cheongjin power station, is a 150-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station in Chongjin, Hamgyong-bukto Province, North Korea.[1]

It appears to be a combined heat and power (CHP) plant.[2]


The map below shows the location of the power station in Chongjin, Hamgyong-bukto Province, North Korea.

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A 2015 report by the Korea Development Bank (KDB산업은행) provides the following background on the power station:[3][4]

  • The Chongjin power station was built with the support of the former Soviet Union for the purpose of supplying electricity to the Kim Chaek Iron and Steel Complex steel plant and city heating in Chongjin, and is located in Chongjin, North Hamgyong Province. In 1974, with the support of the former Soviet Union, North Korea stopped promoting the construction of a 150 MW copper power plant. In November 1980, the official ground-breaking ceremony was held, and in 1984, the units 1 and 2 (50 MW each) were completed in 1985. Electricity production started in 1985, and in December 1986, the construction of unit 3 (50 MW) was completed.
  • The power station faces frequent equipment failures and other issues. For example, as early as May 1987, operation stopped due to a failure of the feedwater pump valves, and in March 1989, the turbine operation was also stopped due to a ruptured accident at the circulation pump station. A generator fire accident in July 1994 and a boiler explosion accident in August 1994 also occurred. In October of the same year, the power plant was shut down due to a lack of coal.
  • The fuel used in this power plant is bituminous coal from the North Hambuk coal field and is estimated to about 2 million tons per year.

A 2016 report by the North Korea Development Institute identifies 4 units for a total 200 MW capacity.[5] However, an undated Korea Electricity Industry Promotion Association (KOEMA) power system spreadsheet also listed the capacity as 150 MW. KOEMA highlighted a 400 to 420 MW expansion with support from China proposed in 1990 and 1992 based on the 3rd 5-year plan, but the power station expansion did not appear to move forward.[6]

Two media sources from 2015 refer to the plant as having stopped operations in 2014 as the power plant's turbines have worn out and the coal mining stopped in the northern region.[7][8] One of the two sources mentions the government's plan to spend about 38.9 billion won over eight months to renovate and repair units 1 and 2 (100,000 kW) to supply electricity to the region for 10 years.[8] It is not known whether this was implemented.

The Kim Chaek Iron and Steel Complex steel plant has shut down periodically due to lack of coal and electricity, including in 2014.[9] As of 2016, it appears that while not critical facilities within the complex have been operating at a low or intermittent level during the past year. A media article from January 2023 suggests that the steel plant is still working, although intermittently due to power outages and fuel shortages.[10]

Project Details

  • Owner: Ministry of Electric Power
  • Parent company: DPRK Ministry of Electric Power
  • Location: Chongjin, Hamgyong-bukto Province, North Korea
  • Coordinates: 41.7636, 129.7500 (exact)
  • Coal type: Lignite
  • Coal source:
  • Gross generating capacity (operating): 150 MW
    • Unit 1: Coal-fired subcritical, 50 MW (start-up in 1985)
    • Unit 2: Coal-fired subcritical, 50 MW (start-up in 1985)
    • Unit 3: Coal-fired subcritical, 50 MW (start-up in 1987)

Articles and Resources


  1. "Ch'ŏngjin Thermal Power Station (Chongjin)," Wikimapia
  2. "Status and Future of the North Korean Minerals Sector," Edward Yoon, for Nautilus Institute, January 6, 2011
  3. “The North Korea’s Industry” (북한의산업.pdf), KDB산업은행, December 2015, available for download at North Korea Information Portal (, Ministry of Unification
  4. “청진화력발전소,” Ministry of Unification, North Korea Information Portal (
  5. “최신 북한 전력산업 동향 및 향후 협력전망,” 북한발전연구원, 2016
  6. "화력발전소(중형급) 위치 및 정보," 남북 전력발전, accessed November 2021
  7. "Chongjin thermal power plant in North Korea shuts down... "Lack of coal supply, outdated facilities"". www-nocutnews-co-kr. 2015.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "The effect of retrofitting old thermal power plants in Chongjin and Naseon". www-sedaily-com. 2015.
  9. "Kim Chaek Iron and Steel Complex: Down but Not Out". June 20, 2016. External link in |website= (help)
  10. "North Koreans are stepping up scrap collection to support struggling steel mills". January 6, 2023. External link in |website= (help)