Chongjin City power station

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Chongjin City power station (청진화력발전소) is an operating power station of at least 150-megawatts (MW) in Chongjin, North Hamgyong, North Korea. It is also known as Cheongjin power station.


Table 1: Project-level location details

Plant name Location Coordinates (WGS 84)
Chongjin City power station Chongjin, Chongjin, North Hamgyong, North Korea 41.783681, 129.750091 (exact)[1]

The map below shows the exact location of the power station.

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Unit-level coordinates (WGS 84):

  • Unit 1, Unit 2, Unit 3: 41.783681, 129.750091

Project Details

Table 2: Unit-level details

Unit name Status Fuel(s) Capacity (MW) Technology Start year Retired year
Unit 1 operating coal - lignite 50 subcritical 1985
Unit 2 operating coal - lignite 50 subcritical 1985
Unit 3 operating coal - lignite 50 subcritical 1987

Table 3: Unit-level ownership and operator details

Unit name Owner
Unit 1 Ministry of Electric Power (North Korea) [100.0%]
Unit 2 Ministry of Electric Power (North Korea) [100.0%]
Unit 3 Ministry of Electric Power (North Korea) [100.0%]

Project-level captive use details

  • Captive industry use (heat or power): iron & steel


A 2015 report by the Korea Development Bank (KDB산업은행) provided the following background on the power station:[2][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 faced 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 identified 4 units with 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 have moved forward.[6]

Two media sources from 2015 referred 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 mentioned 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 went ahead.

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 appeared 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 suggested that the steel plant was still working, although intermittently due to power outages and fuel shortages.[10] In April 2023, it was reported that the modernization project at the steel plant was ongoing.[11] It therefore appeared that the power plant was operating in some capacity, as of 2023.

Articles and Resources


  1.!3m1!1e3!4m6!3m5!1s0x5fcbcbf7f2f7385b:0xaeac4ffebfdf60fc!8m2!3d41.7833058!4d129.7501673!16s%2Fg%2F11sv8v2m24?entry=ttu. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. “The North Korea’s Industry” (북한의산업.pdf), KDB산업은행, December 2015, available for download at North Korea Information Portal (, Ministry of Unification
  3. “청진화력발전소,” Ministry of Unification, North Korea Information Portal (
  4. "Ch'ŏngjin Thermal Power Station (Chongjin)," Wikimapia
  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.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. 8.0 8.1 "The effect of retrofitting old thermal power plants in Chongjin and Naseon". www-sedaily-com. 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. "Kim Chaek Iron and Steel Complex: Down but Not Out". June 20, 2016. {{cite web}}: External link in |website= (help)CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. "North Koreans are stepping up scrap collection to support struggling steel mills". January 6, 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. "Kim Chaek Iron and Steel Complex Makes Efforts to Put Production Processes on Juche Basis". April 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

Additional data

To access additional data, including an interactive map of coal-fired power stations, a downloadable dataset, and summary data, please visit the Global Coal Plant Tracker on the Global Energy Monitor website.