Pospower Samcheok power station

From Global Energy Monitor
This article is part of the CoalSwarm coverage of South Korea and coal
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Pospower Samcheok power station (삼척화력) is a proposed 2,100 megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station planned by Pospower for Samcheok, South Korea.


The map below shows the proposed location for the plant in Samcheok.

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Background on Plant

In September 2014 POSCO Energy said it had entered the coal-fired power generation business by launching Pospower. POSCO had previously focused on gas-fired thermal power. Pospower was formerly Tong Yang Power, which POSCO Energy acquired in June 2013 for US$421.8 million. Tong Yang Power has a business license to build and operate two 1,000 MW capacity coal-fired plants in Samcheok by 2021. Under the renewed development plan, Pospower will begin building the first 1,000 MW unit in 2016 after completing an evaluation of the environmental impact.[1]

In its 2015 annual report, POSCO states the power station would consist of two 1,050 MW units, with the environmental impact assessment scheduled to be completed in 2015.[2]

The preliminary permit for the plant's construction expired in December 2016, and in January 2017 it was extended by the Korean government to June 2017, by which time the plant needs to get a final permit from the Ministry of Power. Before obtaining the license POSCO needs to gain local support, but many locals oppose the project over erosion concerns, as the coal loading dock of the Samcheok Plant will be constructed in a coastal erosion management area, as designated by the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.[3] Samcheok City is requesting consent from the residents of the affected area.[4]

Samcheok City reached an MoU with POSCO for the plant's dock in April 2017, with the Ministry's permit decision for the plant still planned for June.[5]

South Korea's new president, elected in May 2017, said he will consider suspending coal-fired power plants less than 10 percent into construction, which would include Pospower Samcheok.[6] In September 2017 the government released a statement saying it will push to transform coal-fired power plants less than 10% constructed into LNG-fired power turbines.[7]

However, the country's 8th Basic Plan for Long-Term Electricity Supply and Demand (2017-2031), finalized in December 2017, did not list the plant for conversion to gas, suggesting it may remain coal-fired.[8][9] According to the Pospower website (April 2018), the plant will be coal-fired and is planned for operation in 2024.[10]

The coal plant was permitted for construction in April 2018.[11] After the approval, 785 civilians living in Samcheok City and Donghae City filed a lawsuit against the final approval of the power generation project due to coastal erosion and air pollution.[12]

In May 2018 the company began awarding construction contracts for the plant.[13] A construction contract was awarded to Doosan in June 2018.[14]

In February 2019 it was reported that locals were protesting the plant due its pollution impacts, delaying the start of construction. Additionally, natural caves were found near the construction site and, if determined to possess cultural assets, may affect construction plans for the plant.[15]

As of May 21, 2019, Planet satellite photos show land clearing but not construction.

On September 10, 2019, Samcheok residents filed a lawsuit to halt construction of the plant for reasons of health and environmental damages, as well as protection of cultural assets and ground stability.[16]

As of November 4, 2019, Planet satellite photos show signs of preliminary construction.

In June 2020, it was reported the plant "consists of 91% of site construction, such as excavation, ground suspension, and waste-rock transportation, and 25.78% of subsidiary facility construction such as tunnel access road and port access road, etc." Commissioning was still listed for 2024.[17]

Project Details

  • Sponsor: Pospower
  • Parent company: POSCO Energy
  • Location: Samcheok, Gangwon Province, South Korea
  • Coordinates: 37.40687, 129.1778 (exact)
  • Status: Construction
  • Capacity: 2,100 MW (Units 1&2: 1,050 MW)
  • Type: Ultra-supercritical
  • Projected in service: 2024
  • Coal Type:
  • Coal Source:
  • Source of financing: Korea Development Bank
  • Planned Unit Retirements: Units 1 and 2 are scheduled to close by 2054.[18]

Articles and resources


  1. "POSCO Energy launches Pospower," Korea Herald, 2014-09-22
  2. "Beyond Energy, Better Life," POSCO Annual Report, Jul 22, 2015
  3. "포스파워 삼척화력 허가취소 모면…해법 '첩첩산중' - 에너지경제신문," EKN, Jan 18, 2017
  4. "삼척 화력발전소 유치 찬성 시민연대 발족," News 1, March 20, 2017
  5. "삼척화력발전소 건설 여부, 대선 결과 '촉각'," Pressian, May 8, 2017
  6. "S. Korea’s coal-fired power plant builders at risk of losing millions," Pulse, 2017.05.17
  7. "S Korea to tackle pollution by cutting coal, diesel use, switching to LNG," Platts, 26 Sep 2017
  8. "S. Korea to shift toward renewable energy, natural gas," Yonhap News Agency, 2017/12/14
  9. "Ministry announces 8th Basic Plan for Electricity Supply and Demand," Korea Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy, 2017-12-14
  10. "삼척 석탄화력발전소 : 포스코에너지," Posco, accessed April 2018
  11. "신규 석탄화력 발전사업 먹구름 - 글조회 - 집단에너지정보넷," Korea DHP Network, 2018-05-02
  12. "삼척 화력발전소, 천연동굴 나왔는데 공사 'ing' - 시사저널," Sisa Press, Apr 30, 2019
  13. "삼안, 125억원에 삼척화력 부대시설 감리 수주 - 엔지니어링데일리," Engineering Daily, May 9, 2018
  14. "3조5천억 규모 삼척화력발전소 건설 계약," Kyongbuk, 2018년07월25일
  15. "국내 마지막 석탄화력발전소 포스파워 '삼척 발전소' 제2의 난항 겪나," MSN, 2019.02.13
  16. "척포스파워 석탄화력발전소 건설 현장서 사업 백지화 요구," PGN Korea, 10.21.2019
  17. "신규 민간 석탄발전소 건설은 속도 붙는데… 표준투자비 책정 논의는 '제자리'," cnews.co.kr, 2020-06-10
  18. "Assessing the Health Benefits of a Paris-Aligned Coal Phase Out for South Korea," Annex II (Unit-level phase out schedules), Climate Analytics, May 2021

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