Construction of Biomass Power Plant in Pohang Met with Opposition


A biomass plant in Donghae, Gangwon Province. (image: Korea East-West Power Corp.)

A biomass plant in Donghae, Gangwon Province. (image: Korea East-West Power Corp.)

SEOUL, Sept. 28 (Korea Bizwire)A plan to construct a biomass power plant in Pohang that would burn wood as its main fuel has been met with controversy.

The city of Pohang, which signed an agreement to initiate the project, has taken a step back, citing public consent as a priority.

The plant, which would take up 46,000 square meters of space upon completion, had originally been planned to be up and running by December 2021.

The company that agreed to take on the project signed an agreement with Pohang city officials in February of 2016, and was awarded a permit by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy to carry on operations in November of the same year.

For a while, the government designated biomass as a new renewable energy source, but as biomass plants continue to face a wave of criticism for creating fine dust and other pollutants, the construction of the biomass generator in Pohang has been put on hold.

Environmentalists have strongly opposed the biomass plant, citing previous government research that stated toxic substances were 10 times more likely to be released into the air during biomass combustion compared to coal plants.

Meanwhile, the company that is looking to build the plant says that the research results were not fact relevant.

Moreover, the company suggested that the plant would create 300 jobs and would benefit the local community economically.

H. S. Seo (hsseo@koreabizwire.com)