Korea to invest W2.3tr to build up carbon capture capabilityKorea
The Korea Herald
Korea plans to invest 2.3 trillion won ($1.9 billion) until 2019 to build up its carbon capture technology and industrial infrastructure to reduce the country´s greenhouse emission levels, the government said Sunday. The joint plan by the science and technology, knowledge economy, and environment ministries aims to capture and store large amounts of carbon dioxide(CO2) gases released from steel mills and thermal power plants so they do not reach the atmosphere and contribute to global warming. Of the total, the government will foot 52 percent or 1.2 trillion won with the rest coming from the private sector.
Seoul pledged in late 2009 that it will cut the country´s carbon emission level by 30 percent from its 2020 business-as-usual(BAU) level. Making cuts compared to a BAU forecast does not necessarily translate into overall output reductions, although the country must employ the latest carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies, and burn less fossil fuel overall to meet the goal. The science ministry in charge of overall research and development said the technology also has export potential since the global CCS market is expected to reach 550 trillion won by 2030 as other countries will be obligated to cut back on CO2 gases as part of a global effort.
"If the country Is able to export carbon capture technologies and convert CO2 into industrial useful materials, the industry can help employ 100,000 people in 2030", a ministry official said. He added that in the next two decades advances in CCS technology could reduce Korea´s greenhouse emission output by around 32 million tons or 10 percent of what it has to cut under its long term CO2 reduction plan. The ministry said that once all the research is carried out, Korea should have a CCS plant able to capture gases from a 100 megawatt output power generation plant in the next decade.
This is far larger than the 0.5 megawatt thermal power unit capturing facility built early this year by the state-run Korea Southern Power Co., in Hadong 470 kilometers southeast of Seoul. The capturing and storage have to cost around $30 for every one ton of CO2 processed to make it economically viable. In addition to the goal of effectively capturing CO2, the concerted R&D effort aims to raise Korea´s CSS technology to 90 percent levels by 2030. At present, the country trails European countries and the United States, which began CCS work in 1999.
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