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Moon vows bold investment in offshore wind power industry

President Moon Jae-in (Yonhap)
President Moon Jae-in (Yonhap)

President Moon Jae-in pledged Friday to expand South Korea's offshore wind power capacity hundredfold by 2030 as a key engine for the nation's transition to renewable energy and environmentally-friendly growth.

Moon visited a wind power plant and a turbine research center on the southwestern coast in his first field inspection since unveiling a "New Deal" policy Tuesday to recover from the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus crisis.

"The government's goal is clear and is to become one of the world's top five offshore wind energy powerhouses by 2030, taking advantage of our geographical advantage of being surrounded by water on three sides," Moon said at the wind farm in Buan, about 280 kilometers southwest of Seoul.

The government aims to expand the nation's offshore wind power capacity to 12 gigawatts by 2030 from the current 124 megawatts, he noted.

During his visit, central and local governments, businesses and local residents signed a memorandum of understanding to develop the plant located in two counties of Buan and Gochang, North Jeolla Province.

The governments seek to draw 14 trillion won ($11.61 billion) in private investment in the project to increase capacity from the current 60MW to 2.46GW by 2028.

The plant operating since July 2019 is the largest among the nation's three offshore wind farms. Two others are located in South Jeolla Province and Jeju Island.

He projected the offshore wind energy industry would create up to ten times more quality jobs than other electricity generation sectors, and create new demand for the shipbuilding, steel and construction industries.

"The government will create initial demand through large-scale projects and continue to invest in technology development so that domestic companies can have competitive edge in both price and technology," he pledged.

On Tuesday, the president laid out his New Deal plan, under which the government will invest 160 trillion won by 2025 in promoting green, digital and smart technology industries, which he projected to create 1.9 million new jobs. (Yonhap)