SEOUL, April 12 (Korea Bizwire) — The government is gearing up to support the nation’s gas station industry, which is facing serial closures due to the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic and the growing popularity of eco-friendly vehicles.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy recently issued a notice concerning the outsourcing of a study on how to best support the gas station industry.
This move is part of the ministry’s efforts to invigorate the gas station industry by analyzing the current state of the industry and exploring ideas for diversification.
“We will look into successful foreign cases in business diversification, while reviewing the support cases related to business suspension and closure in other domestic industries,” a ministry official said.
The number of South Korean gas stations stood at 11,331 as of the end of February 2021, down 184 from a year ago and 40 from a month ago, according to the Korea Oil Station Association.
At present, the cost of closing a gas station is estimated at about 100-200 million won (US$89,170-178,350) since the operator needs to completely decontaminate the soil.
Accordingly, there are many cases where gas stations opt to suspend their business temporarily rather than shut down, even when their business is not making the financial returns that would justify their continuation.
M. H. Lee (email@example.com)