South Korea will shut eight ageing coal-fired power plants for a month Thursday as part of government-led efforts to tackle worsening air pollution, the country’s energy ministry said Wednesday.  It said there would be no power supply shortages in the period due to the availability of more costly but less polluting gas-fired power plants, which are mostly privately run.  “The eight coal-fired power plants aged 30 years or older will be closed June 1-30 as part of efforts to reduce air pollution,” the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said in a statement. “The temporary shutdown will be held every year in spring when electricity demand is relatively low,” it added.  The eight plants are the 125 MW Yeongdong No. 1 and 200 MW Yeongdong No. 2 built in 1973 and 1979 respectively, the 200 MW Seocheon No. 1 and No. 2 built in 1983, the 560 MW Samcheonpo No. 1 and No. 2 built in 1983 and 1984 respectively and the 450 MW Boryeong No. 1 and No. 2 built in 1983 and 1984 respectively.   They are all owned by the country’s state-run electricity monopoly Korea Electric Power Corporation, or KEPCO.
The same eight plants will subsequently be closed for four months over March-June during the off-peak spring season each year from 2018, the ministry said.