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Kepco to cooperate with Samsung to power $226 billion chip hub

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Representatives from the Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco), the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and Samsung Electronics pose for a photo at Samsung Electronics' Pyeongtaek semiconductor manufacturing plant in Gyeonggi on Tuesday. [KEPCO]
Representatives from the Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco), the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and Samsung Electronics pose for a photo at Samsung Electronics’ Pyeongtaek semiconductor manufacturing plant in Gyeonggi on Tuesday. [KEPCO]

As Samsung Electronics is set to build a 300 trillion won ($226 billion) massive chip cluster in Yongin, Gyeonggi, by 2042, the chipmaker will cooperate with the Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) to secure a stable electricity supply for the complex site, the state-run utility said Tuesday.

Representatives from Kepco, Samsung Electronics and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy visited the site that day, which has been designated as a “high-tech strategic industrial complex” for semiconductors by the government in July.

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The power demand for the cluster is estimated to reach over 10 gigawatts by 2050, which is one-quarter of the entire Greater Seoul area’s maximum power demand during last winter’s peak, which was an all-time record figure for the season.

It also equals to almost one-eighth of the country’s maximum electricity demand during this summer’s peak. In August, Korea’s peak power demand came in at a record of 82.73 gigawatts on average.

Samsung Electronics and Kepco discussed measures to connect the to-be-built liquefied natural gas power generators in the complex site to the power grid in a timely manner, and agreed to work together to gain support from local residents.

“Semiconductor is the key strategic industry for Korea’s economy, and a stable power supply is an essential requirement for that,” said Cheon Young-gil, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy’s deputy minister of energy.

Cheon requested active cooperation from Kepco and Samsung Electronics to help the ministry “come up with a plan for the power supply for the Yongin chip cluster within this year.”

Meanwhile, Kepco held a ceremony that day to commemorate the completion of a 23.5-kilometer-long (14.6-mile-long), 345-kilovolt power cable aimed at securing a stable power supply for the southern Gyeonggi region where Samsung Electronics’ Pyeongtaek chip manufacturing plant is located.

BY SHIN HA-NEE [shin.hanee@joongang.co.kr]

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