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South Korea to temporarily shut aged coal power plants

IANS | Seoul |

South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Monday ordered a temporary shutdown of eight aged coal power plants as part of efforts to reduce fine dust.

The closure of the power plants that had been running for over 30 years came as an emergency measure to lower fine dust, Xinhua news agency quoted Senior Presidential Press Secretary Yoon Young-chan as saying.

South Korea is operating 59 coal-fired power plants, most of them located along the western coast. The plants have been cited as one of the main reasons for the growing damages from fine dust.

The government planned to shut down eight aged plants in June alone this year, and to suspend operations of those plants from March to June next year when demand for electricity is relatively low.

It announced a plan to dismantle 10 aged coal power plants before Moon's five-year term ends.

Moon instructed his senior secretary for social affairs to set up a government body dedicated to tackling the fine dust issue, which would act as a task force team inside the government.

His instruction was in line with the campaign pledges, in which he vowed to shut down coal power plants in springtime, dismantle 10 aged plants that were run for over 30 years and review the construction of further coal-fired power plants.