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South Korea to build world's largest tidal power station

May 04, 2007 - AsiaPulse

South Korea's Incheon City said Thursday that it plans to build the world's largest tidal power station on Ganghwa Island by 2014.

The project calls for connecting four islands in Gyeonggi Bay with seawalls and installing 32 electric generators for a total output of 812 megawatts, three times the capacity of the Rance tidal power station in northern France, the current title holder in the field.

The generators make electric power by using the difference in water levels during high and low tide, which can reach a maximum of 9.6 meters. On average, the difference is about 6-7.6 meters.

The four islands are Ganghwa, Gyodong, Seogeom and Seongmo.

Incheon, located 80 kilometers west of Seoul, said construction will cost 1.77 trillion won (US$1.90 billion). The port city has signed a memorandum of understanding with Korea Midland Power Co. and a consortium led by Daewoo Engineering and Construction Co. (KSE:047040) to build the power facility.

Incheon said once commercial generation starts in 2015, it can provide 8.4 percent of the annual electric power used by the city, currently 18,165 gigawatt-hours. The electricity can power 400,000 of the 930,000 homes in the city, equivalent to burning 320,000 tons of heavy oil.