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Heat Wave Also Strikes Electric Power Plants

Posted August. 24, 2007 07:29,   


With record high demand for electric power due to the scorching heat wave, the government has rolled up its sleeves to come up with emergency measures. On Thursday, Energy Minister Kim Yeong-joo summoned the heads of the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), its affiliated companies, and the Korea Energy Management Corporation for an emergency meeting to discuss ways to stabilize the electricity supply.

Minister Kim asked the representatives to stay alert, saying, “If the thermometer keeps on reading over 34.5 degrees Celsius nationwide, the total amount of reserve electricity (total supply subtracted by the highest possible demand) may fall below 4 million kW.”

The meeting also reviewed plans for an emergency drill on the assumption that the amount of reserve electricity drops below 2 million kW.

The demand for electric power this summer hit record high on August 16 at 59.92 million kW, surpassing the highest figure recorded last year on the same day at 58.99 million. However, the demand kept on soaring. Since August 16, the highest record was renewed four times and Tuesday saw the highest demand recorded so far at 62.28 million kW. The government estimated the amount of highest demand to be at around 61.5 million kW at the beginning of the year.

As a result, the percentage of reserve electricity in proportion to the highest demand fell far below the projected 9.8 percent to 7.2 percent on Tuesday.

jarrett@donga.com parky@donga.com