South Korea starts up, to expand 1-MW Jindo Uldolmok tidal project

South Korean government and research officials have inaugurated the 1-MW Jindo Uldolmok tidal energy project, announcing plans to expand the project to 90 MW by 2013.

South Korea’s Ministry of Land, Transport, and Maritime Affairs said the initial 1-MW project was completed May 14, 2009, becoming the country’s first operating tidal plant.

The project was initiated in 2005 in Uldolmok Strait, off Uldolmok, Jindo Island, in South Jeolla Province. The project is to produce 2.4 gigawatt-hours as a first step at 1 MW of capacity. By 2013, the project is to be expanded to 90 MW.

The ministry emphasized that all the project’s related technologies were developed in Korea. It said that is significant because South Korea is 97 percent dependent on foreign energy.

Korea East West Power Co. and South Jeolla Province signed an investment agreement in 2006 to develop a tidal plant in Jindo. Hyundai Construction & Engineering was chosen to construct a test power plant, while Hyundai Heavy Industries was named to develop generators and Iljin Electric was chosen to manufacture mechanical equipment.

The ministry said development of Jindo Uldolmok and the 254-MW Sihwa tidal power project, to be completed in 2010 on Sihwa Lake, would make South Korea one of the most advanced marine countries in the world. Korea Water Resources Corp. is developing Sihwa with a consortium led by Daewoo Engineering and Construction Co. Ltd. Andritz Hydro of Austria is supplying ten bulb-type turbine-generators to that project.

United Kingdom tidal power developer Lunar Energy previously agreed with Korean Midland Power Co. to develop a 300-MW tidal stream power project in Wando Hoenggan Waterway off the coast of South Korea. (HydroWorld 4/14/08) Additionally, Voith Hydro of Germany and Renetec of South Korea signed a memorandum of understanding to advance a 600-MW tidal power project off Wando County in Jeollanam-do Province. (HydroWorld 10/8/07)

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