An urban renewal plan in Korea envisions district heating from biomass

Taebaek biomass power plan image
KDHC | Biomass power plant to be set in Taebaek, illustration.

Korea District Heating Corporation (KDHC), whose two largest shareholders are the Korean government and KEPCO, has revealed an urban regeneration plan that might entail the construction of a new biomass power station.

KDHC said earlier this month that it is working on an initiative dubbed as ‘ECO JOB CITY Taebaek’ for TaeBaek, a city once prospered as the coal hub of Korea, but now facing decline with the shrinking coal industry. The economy-based urban regeneration program, jointly organized by private and public participants, is trying to prevent the community extinction by providing a number of stimulus projects such as the construction of a theme park, smart farms, and a renewable energy park.

KDHC Headquarter
Image by KDHC | KDHC headquarter in Seongnam

KDHC, Mine Reclamation Corporation, and Korea Coal Corporation, with others, are participating in the project, which will invest around a total of KRW 227.3 billion to build a power station. The heat produced in the station will also warm smart farms and 549 households who are living in old apartments in Taebaek. At K-Renewables’ inquiry, an official from KDHC explained that the biomass power plant will have a 9.9MW capacity. The power station’s fuel will be unused forest resources, which means off-grade woods or abandoned timbers due to their inaccessible locations, the representative explained.

KDHC is expecting that the construction will create 6,000 jobs and KRW 200 billion worth of production locally in Gangwon Province in which district heating is not yet introduced.

KDHC also said the power plant will be completed by the end of 2023. The official commented detailed timetable is yet to emerge.

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