Report Published: "South Korea Power Report Q3 2013"

From: Fast Market Research, Inc.
Published: Fri Jul 26 2013

The ongoing scandals surrounding the use of uncertified parts suggest the government will continue to face difficulties gaining the public's trust. That said, we believe the country will likely forge ahead with its plans to expand its nuclear capacity, even as it builds new coal and gas generation. Electricity demand remains at an all-time high, and the tight demand and supply conditions have pushed the government to accelerate the award of contracts to build new gas and coal plants. The country has embarked on an ambitious project with a US laboratory, K-DEMO, with the aim of developing a commercially viable fusion reactor and plans to invest KRW1trn in the project.

We forecast overall power generation in South Korea to grow an average of 4.3% per annum between 2013 and 2022, reaching 767.4TWh. While coal- and gas-fired generation continue to play a vital role, we expect most of the growth to come from nuclear generation, which we expect will lead growth in generation in the second half of our 10-year forecast period to 2022, despite the current high level of public distrust.

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That said, we expect the country to continue adding thermal capacity to avoid further supply shortfalls, which it experienced in September 2011. With South Korea recording several incidents where the surge in power consumption resulted in generation dipping into the 4,000 megawatt (MW) reserve buffer level set out by the government, the construction of eight coal-fired plants was approved (adding an estimated 2740MW) by private operators by 2027. The government further approved the construction of another six gas-fired plants (adding an estimated 5060MW to the system), which are to become operational between 2015 and 2017. This is in line with our expectations for the increasingly cautious government to look to other forms of generation to fill the supply gap, given public distrust in nuclear generators.

Key trends and changes in the industry:

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