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Inter-Korean Power Grid Reconnected After 59 Years

Posted June. 22, 2007 03:23,   


Cross-border electricity transmissions through power grid to North Korea resumed yesterday for the first time in 59 years since North Korea unilaterally cut electricity transmissions in May 1948.

With around 300 people present, including Minister of Commerce, Industry and Energy Kim Young-joo and KEPCO President Lee Won-gul, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy and the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) reportedly held a ceremony for the completion of the “Peace Substation” on June 21, which will provide electricity to the first-stage site in the Gaesong Industrial Complex.

During his congratulatory speech, Minister Kim said, “Following the inter-Korean railway services that completed their trial run recently, the establishment of electricity transmission lines between the two Koreas has a historically significant meaning which are like the blood vessels connecting two Koreas,” and added, “This will be an opportunity to promote peace on the Korean peninsula as well as consolidate the co-prosperity of the two Koreas.”

KEPCO President Lee Won-gul said, “The Peace Substation will serve as an essential facility for new companies within the Gaesong Industrial Complex and also for co-prosperity between South and North Korea. We will operate the substation on a stable level so that it can contribute to the development of the Gaesong Industrial Complex.”

Starting last April, the construction of electricity transmission and transformer facilities cost a total of 35 billion won in a 16 kilometer-length area from Moonsan substation in Paju, Gyeonggi Province through the DMZ to the Gaesong Industrial Complex. The facility consists of 48 pylons, 154kV large-capacity transmission lines and an outdoor substation within the Gaesong Complex.

Although the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) already started to offer power aid to a model area of the Gaesong Industrial Complex and some enterprises in the complex since March 2005, up until now it has provided power from the Moonsan substation to a maximum of 15000kW.