SEOULSEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea unveiled a 48.5 trillion won ($43.2 billion) plan to build the world's largest wind power plant by 2030 as part of efforts to foster an environmentally-friendly recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The project is a major component of President Moon Jae-in's Green New Deal, initiated last year to curb reliance on fossil fuels in Asia's fourth-largest economy and make it carbon neutral by 2050. [S6N29P01A]
Moon attended a signing ceremony in the southwestern coastal town of Sinan for the plant, which will have a maximum capacity of 8.2 gigawatts.
"With this project, we are accelerating the eco-friendly energy transition and moving more vigorously toward carbon neutrality," Moon said at the event.
Utility and engineering companies also attended, including Korea Electric Power Corp, SK E&S, Hanwha Engineering & Construction Corp, Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Co., CS Wind Corp and Samkang M&T Co.
The companies will provide 47.6 trillion of the required funding and the government the remaining 0.9 trillion, Moon's office Blue House said.
It said the project would provide up to 5,600 jobs and help achieve a goal to boost the country's wind power capacity to 16.5 GW by 2030 from 1.67 GW now.
The envisaged 8.2 GW amounts to the energy produced by six nuclear reactors, or the effects of planting 71 million pine trees, officials said.
To date, the world's largest offshore wind farm is Hornsea 1 in Britain, which has 1.12 GW capacity.
($1 = 1,123.4000 won)
(Reporting by Hyonhee Shin; editing by Barbara Lewis)