Floating Power Plants to Make Up for Shortage in Korea

The government could rent four 150,000 kW powerships from Turkey to make up for a possible electricity shortage this winter. The shortage is anticipated because reactors Nos. 5 and 6 at the Yeonggwang nuclear power plant with a total capacity of 2 million kW have been shut down after they were found to contain parts bearing forged certificates.

The Ministry of Knowledge Economy and power monopoly KEPCO in an emergency meeting Tuesday discussed ways of ensuring a stable power supply, including renting Turkish powerships and compelling public corporations to fire up their emergency power generators.

A powership is a floating power plant, often put into temporary use worldwide in the event of natural disasters or other emergencies, or in some developing nations in case of a power shortage.

"We're discussing if we can rent them ahead of the electricity peak season in January and if they are compatible with our power grid," a ministry official said.

Turkey has advanced technology in the field.

Electricity authorities will also compel public corporations that have emergency power generators with a capacity of more than 1,000 kW to put their emergency power generators into operation during peak hours, which would free up to 500,000 kW more electricity.

The government is in a hurry because the electricity shortage looks more serious than expected. At first, it was believed that the country would not reach an emergency situation until a cold wave hits the country in December, but supplies are already dangerously low, and an alert was issued Tuesday, the day after the two reactors shut down.

englishnews@chosun.com / Nov. 07, 2012 12:54 KST