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South Korea Urges Power-Saving as Shutdowns Portend Shortage

South Korea Urges Power-Saving as Shutdowns Portend Shortage
Pedestrians are illuminated as they walk past street lamps in the city center of Seoul. Photographer: Woohae Cho/Bloomberg

South Korea’s government urged efforts to conserve electricity as the nation faces shortages following shutdowns in a nuclear power industry that supplies 30 percent of the nation’s generating capacity.

Yoon Sang Jick, South Korea’s minister of trade, industry and energy, yesterday urged businesses, public institutions and households to reduce electric consumption from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the three days from today, as power demand is expected to peak at 80 million kilowatts, exceeding the nation’s 77 million kilowatts of generating capacity.

“We are in a very desperate situation, where we can’t overcome this crisis without all your active support,” Yoon said in a statement.

South Korea faces “unprecedented” power shortages during its summer months, Vice Minister for Energy Han Jin Hyun said May 28, after two of the nation’s 23 nuclear reactors were halted and the restart of another was delayed when safety certificates for components used at the facilities were found to be faked.

The Shin-Kori No. 2 and Shin-Wolsong No. 1 reactors will be shut for about four months to replace control cables supplied under fake quality warranties. The government also ordered the replacement of cables at the Shin-Kori No. 1 reactor, already halted for regular maintenance, and at the new Shin-Wolsong No. 2 plant, which is under review before going into operation.

LNG Cargoes

Already the world’s second-largest buyer of liquefied natural gas used to power electricity generators, South Korea is scheduled to receive as many as four spot LNG cargoes from Nigeria and a Peruvian shipment during the next two weeks, according to ship tracking transmissions captured by IHS Fairplay on Bloomberg.

The Asian nation doesn’t have long-term LNG supply contracts with Peru and Nigeria, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Exports from Nigeria LNG Ltd., Africa’s biggest LNG exporter, resumed July 26 after the company lifted a force majeure. The nation’s maritime agency halted a blockade on ships leaving and entering the Bonny Island loading bay after settling a court case July 12 with Nigeria LNG over a tax issue.

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