[THE INVESTOR] SK Group chairman Chey Tae-won has a new business priority: eco-friendly energy towns.
On June 30, Chey announced that SK will devote itself to creating and running more towns across the country running on renewable energy.
“Eco-friendly energy towns are an ideal business model that could benefit both Korea and other countries,” Chey said as he toured an eco-friendly energy town located in Hongcheon of Gangwon Province with President Park Geun-hye.
President Park Geun-hye (right) and SK Group chairman Chey Tae-won. SK hynix
The town is the nation’s first to be powered by self-produced recycled energy.
“These towns can help solve environmental problems, while at the same time boosting profit for farmhouses.”
The idea of self-reliant, eco-friendly energy towns were first proposed by President Park in January 2014.
Hongcheon’s energy town -- launched at the end of 2015 -- was the result of joint efforts between SK affiliate SK E&S, together with the Environment Ministry, Gangwon Province and Hongcheon county.
Gas is supplied to 750 households in Hongcheon county by recycling excrements and food waste. This way, the residents save up to 45 million won (US$38,340) a year.
They are also reprocessing the left-over excrement and waste to raise an additional 52 million won. Another 52 million comes from solar energy generation facilities that SK donated 1 billion won to erect.
This is not the first eco-friendly project SK has taken on.
In April, SK Group’s SK D&D erected a group of wind power generators on Jejudo Island. The area is now earning billions of won a year by renting out the generators.
SK is now planning to inject 1 trillion won to create a marine, wind-power cluster.
By Kim Ji-hyun (email@example.com)