Korea South-East Power, Large scale investments to reduce GHG

[ Summary ]

The power sector covers about 43% of emissions in the Korean ETS, and Korea South-East Power Co., Ltd(from here after KOEN) is the largest emitter in the sector(58 mil tCO2e/yr).  The fact that KOEN has the largest coal power generators and that Korea runs a captive power market make it difficult for KOEN to comply with the ETS.

Despite such circumstances, KOEN voluntarily set “KOEN GHG Reduction Roadmap” to reduce by 35% by 2030 compared to BAU emissions. In order to achieve the goal, KOEN is utilizing every available way such as ① investing in fuel-switching like from coal to biomass, and renewable energy projects, ② actively trading emissions using a variety of sources(market, OTC, auction, etc.), and ③ supporting small-medium sized companies to reduce emissions by raising € 7.5 mil carbon fund. Furthermore, KOEN signed agreements with NGOs, domestic and foreign associations to cooperate in research and develop reduction projects to contribute to advancing the policy and the carbon market in Korea.



KOEN has a total of 5 facilities in Korea(Yeongdong, Yeongheung, Samcheonpo, Yeosu, Bundang) and the total emissions level is 58 mil tCO2e/yr. The emissions level increased until 2016 and is decreasing since then.

Period Year Emissions (tCO2e) Power Generation (MWh) Intensity (tCO2e/MWh)
1st Phase 2015 58,769,737 70,807,412 0.83
2016 59,734,304 71,568,706 0.8346
2017 58,140,704 70,384,812 0.826



[ Main Activities ]

Reduction project (Invested €72m in fuel switching, reduced 570,000 tCO2e/yr)

KOEN is the 2nd largest emitter in Korea and the biggest coal power generator, and has been increasing in emissions. KOEN invested in €72m in fuel-switching for Yeongdong 1st Unit from coal to wood pellet and reduced 570,000 tCO2e/yr. The project is exemplary of coal phase-out both reducing emissions and reviving local economy. In addition, fine dust is becoming a serious issue in Korea, and the project also reduced fine dust by 68%. Successful results led to additional investments in the 2nd unit, currently in construction.

Facility Classif. 2015 2015 2016 2017 2018


1st Unit

Emissions (tCO2e) 798,840 893,610 581,852 15,677 18,641
Power Sale (MWh) 872,340 906,485 603,749 502,745 749,930
Intensity (tCO2e/MWh) 0.916 0.986 0.964 0.031 0.025

Furthermore, KOEN signed an agreement with a medium-sized company in May 2019 to invest in solar PV project(70MW) in Vietnam to earn 100,000 tCO2e foreign offsets.

Contribute in market activation with largest trading records

KOEN arranged a prompt decision-making system to trade emission credits in order to  actively utilize the market mechanism. KOEN participated in every kind of trading opportunity such as trading within exchange, OTC, auction, etc, and contributed in market activation of domestic carbon market. The Carbon Market Committee with about 100 ETS entities serves as a communication channel with the Government to improve domestic carbon market, and KOEN is the leader of the committee.

Collaboration and mutual growth with allies tackling climate change

KOEN signed an agreement with NGO, Climate Change Center, in June 2017 to cooperate in research and develop reduction projects. KOEN also signed an agreement with Ministry of Agriculture and KyungNam Province in December 2018 to reduce emissions in an agricultural area using geothermal heat. Furthermore, with a €2.2m carbon fund raised in March 2016, KOEN plans to reduce 100,000 tCO2e/yr by incinerating HFCs from industrial freezing machines using plasma. KOEN is also cooperating with Industrial Bank of Korea to support small-medium companies to reduce emissions with an additional €7.5m carbon fund.