GS Pocheon power station

From Global Energy Monitor

GS Pocheon power station (포천그린에너지) is a 170-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station in Gyeonggi province, South Korea.


The undated satellite photo below shows the plant in Pocheon.

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Background on Plant

GS Pocheon power station is a combined heat and power (CHP) project in Pocheon, Gyeonggi province, by GS E&R. It was proposed to generate steam for the Jangja Industrial Complex, and was expected to generate electricity by using additional energy with a 170 MW generator. The project was permitted in 2013 and construction began in 2015. It was planned for operation in 2018,[1] but may have been delayed due to an explosion.


In December 2016, a financing agreement was closed for this project.[2] The project received at least KRW 310 billion (US$279 million) in loans. Groups providing debt financing for the project included:

  • Korea Development Bank (KDB): KRW 12 billion (US$10.8 million)[2]
  • KDB Infrastructure Investments Asset Management: KRW 120 billion (US$108 million)[2]
  • KDB Life Insurance: 25.2 billion (US$22.7 million)[3]
  • Nonghyup Life Insurance: KRW 25.2 billion (US$22.7 million)[2][3]
  • Nonghyup Bank: KRW 37.3 billion (US$33.6 million)[2][3]
  • Hanwha Life Insurance: KRW 54.6 billion (US$49.1 million)[3]
  • Heungkuk Life Insurance: 36.2 billion (US$32.6 million)[3]

KB Insurance provided both project financing and underwriting for the GS Pocheon power station, but exact amounts for each financing type are not known.[3]

August 2018 Explosion kills worker, injures others

In August 2018, an explosion at the plant killed one worker with four others taken to hospital with burns. The plant had undertaken a test operation of the plant between April and July in preparation for its commissioning.[4]

May 2019: Construction completed

In May 2019, it was reported that construction work on the plant had been completed, and the company was in the process of having meetings with locals to hear their concerns about air pollution from coal burning. The plant would also burn biomass and gas as secondary fuels.[5]

August 2019: Controversial operation begins

In August 2019, GS Pocheon Green Energy started commercial operation of its power station.[6]

In June 2022, GS Pocheon Green Energy announced that the plant would supply high-pressure steam for the textile dyeing industry.[7]

Citizen & local government opposition

The plant proposal has been opposed by local residents concerned about increased pollution and other impacts since at least 2013. In March 2017, an estimated 500 residents protested against the proposed power station.[8]

Legal disputes (2019-2021)

In 2019, GS Pocheon Green Energy Co., Ltd. filed an administrative petition against Pocheon City for what appeared to be imposing restrictions on the power station under the Building Act. The City lost the first trial and their appeal was dismissed. GS followed up by filing a lawsuit seeking the cancellation of a "rejection disposition." An agreement was finally reached in June 2021.[9][10]

The Mayor of Pocheon City, Park Yoon-guk, said (Google Translate):[9]

"Regardless of the refusal of Pocheon City, GS is still operating a coal power plant. It is practically impossible to impose restrictions on projects approved by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy and the Ministry of Environment as the head of a local government.”
“For years, the coal power plant problem, which started with the regretful judgment of the former mayor, has been facing opposition from civic groups and citizens who oppose coal. But now is the time to make tough decisions. Unfortunately, our city is trying to end the conflict that has persisted through an agreement with GS and move forward. We will look for various alternatives for this.”

Starting in March 2021, Pocheon City and GS had four meetings to prepare a consultation plan and review the environmental impact assessment. The Mayor noted (Google Translate): “The fact that we were able to reduce the amount of bituminous coal used by coal power plants by 50% and reduce the annual pollutant generation from 1,297 tons to 587 tons is the result of a lonely and long struggle with the civic groups centered on Seoktubon.”[9]

A representative from Seoktubon said (Google Translate):[9]

“It is very sad and dissatisfying that [] we have no choice but to make a win-win agreement between Pocheon City and GS, but apart from that, we respect the judgment of the mayor and Pocheon City. Pocheon City played the role of Pocheon City, and our citizens and Seoktubon will continue to play our role in responding to the climate crisis. The anti-coal movement will continue. In addition, we will conduct environmental monitoring and policy proposals for coal power plants and surrounding areas included in the agreement. In addition, Pocheon City should establish an environmental foundation that can take charge of environmental issues such as climate crisis beyond such conflicts and support the enactment of related ordinances, a dedicated organization and budget. We hope that Pocheon City will set a policy for carbon neutrality and greenhouse gas reduction and become a national model for climate crisis and environmental conservation.”

Project Details

  • Sponsor: GS CHP (GS E&R)
  • Parent company: GS Holdings Corp
  • Location: Pocheon, Gyeonggi, South Korea
  • Coordinates: 37.958781, 127.230943 (exact)
  • Status: Operating
  • Gross Capacity: 170 MW
  • Type: CHP
  • Start year: 2019
  • Coal Type:
  • Coal Source:
  • Source of financing: At least US$279 million from Korea Development Bank, KDB Infrastructure Investments Asset Management, KDB Life Insurance, NongHyup Life Insurance, Nonghyup Bank, Hanwha Life Insurance, Heungkuk Life Insurance, and KB Insurance[2][3]

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