6 Mar 2002 – As part of its privatization plans, the government of South Korea is to divide Korea Electric Power Corporation’s (Kepco) power distribution operations into six companies. The minister of Commerce, Industry and Energy said Wednesday.

In a ministry report to President Kim Dae-Jung, it said that Kepco’s power distribution and retail operations would be broken up by the end of the year with the privatization process beginning in 2003.

The ministry also plans to revise the electricity tariff system, which currently favours industry. A new system based on generation costs rather than the sector-based method would be introduced.

Electricity prices in South Korea’s industrial sector are set considerably lower than for households and commercial users, due to the government’s efforts to boost industrial activities.

The power distribution divisions will include one for northern Seoul and Gyeonggi Province; one for southern Seoul and Incheon; one for the rest of Gyeonggi Province, Gangwon Province and Gangneung; and one for Busan, South Gyeongsang Province, South Jeolla Province and Jeju Island.

The minister also said one of the power generation firms would be sold off this year as part of the privatization plan for the power industry.