석탄화력발전의 대기오염으로 인한 건강영향과 기후변화에 대한 기여에 대해서는 이미 잘 알려져 있으나, 석탄화력의 자금조달에 국내 공적 금융기관들이 얼마나 기여했는지는 그간 잘 알려져 있지 않았습니다. SFOC은 남동발전 등 한국전력 발전자회사 및 국민연금, 수출입은행, 농협중앙회 등 국내 주요 금융기관이 국회에 제출한 자료에 기초하여 국내 주요 금융기관들의 석탄화력에 대한 금융제공실태를 국내 최초로 조사·분석하였습니다. 

조사 결과, 국내 공적금융기관이 2000년대 후반 이후 신설된 국내 석탄화력발전소(석탄열병합발전소 포함)에 대하여 9조 4,287억원, 해외 석탄화력발전소에 대하여 9조 5,817억원의 금융을 각 제공하여, 합계 19조 104억원에 해당하는 막대한 금융제공을 한 것으로 드러났습니다. 

보다 구체적으로, 해외 석탄화력발전사업에 대해서는 한국수출입은행이 약 5조원, 한국무역보험공사가 약 4.1조원의 금융을 제공해 가장 많은 지원을 했습니다. 한편, 국내 석탄화력발전사업에 대하여는 농협금융지주 계열회사들이 약 3.9조원, 국민연금공단이 약 2.6조원의 금융을 제공해 가장 많은 지원을 했다. 그 외에 한국산업은행이 국내 및 해외 석탄화력사업에 2조원, 기업은행이 6천억원, 우정사업본부가 4천억원 이상씩 금융을 제공한 것으로 밝혀졌습니다. 

아래는 관련 보고서 링크입니다. 

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Solutions for Our Climate (SFOC), an environmental group focusing on climate and air policy based in Seoul, Korea, released a new report on the state of coal power project support by Korean public financial institutions. The report reveals that these institutions spent nearly USD 17 billion in coal power projects after 2008 - about half of which was for coal-fired power plants outside Korea. Before going into the details, first, a couple of points summarizing the state of coal power in Korea.

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Korea Coal Power Snapshot

·       Domestically, eight new coal power units (7GW) were commissioned in 2017 alone, and seven more units (7GW) are in the pipeline (see Table 1).

·       Internationally, third in the world, following Japan and China, in terms of international coal finance.

·       Despite commitments to phase-out domestic coal, coal is still thriving in the new Administration. Despite having legal grounds to cancel, the Moon Administration recently issued one of the  final permits of a 2GW project. Furthermore, the Administration’s plans to decommission coal power plants are merely a continuation of plans already set during the previous administration.

·       Overseas coal projects continue despite administration change. Five months into the new administration, project finance loans for the controversial Cirebon 2 coal project were disbursed, and KEPCO, the Korean government owned utility entered into the concession agreement for the Nghi-Son 2 coal project.

<Table 1. New Coal Power Projects authorized after 2008>

Public Financial Institution Support of New Coal

SFOC’s new report shows how Korean public financial institutions contributed to the proliferation of coal.  

·       Financing for Domestic Coal Projects. The National Pension Service (NPS, USD 2.2 billion), Korea Development Bank (KDB, USD 1.7 billion) and Nonghyup Financial Holdings (USD 3.4 billion) have contributed the most in financing domestic coal projects.

<Table 2. Korean Public Financial Institution Support of Domestic Coal Power Plants>

·       Financing for Overseas Projects. Korea Export Import Bank (KEXIM) and Korea Trade Insurance Corporation (K-SURE) have supported the most. Specific projects they have participated in are as below.

<Table 3. Korean Public Financial Institution Support of Overseas Coal Power Plants>

<Table 4.  KEXIM Financing of Overseas Coal Power Plants>

<Table 5. K-SURE Financing of Overseas Coal Power Plants>

Policy-Maker Response

·       Extensive Criticism at National Assembly. Our findings have led to legislator questioning of the Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy, the Presidents of KEXIMKDBNPS and KEPCO during the 2017 National Audit at the National Assembly. Such questioning was one of the most important reasons KDB, which was originally planning to finance the 1GW Dangjin EcoPower project, withdrew its plans to finance the project, subsequently leading to its cancellation.

·       Legislators move to restrict coal financing. Legislative bills restricting KEXIMKDB and NPS financing of coal power projects have been proposed to the Korean National Assembly. The bills, if passed, will impose substantial political pressure on public financial institutions, by sending a clear message to such institutions to stay away from coal power investments.

Going Forward

·       Financing of several domestic and overseas projects expected during 2018.  Several new coal power projects will be seeking financing during 2018, and should be on the watch. Domestically, the Gangreung Eco-Power project and the Samcheok PosPower project will be seeking financing arranged by KB Kookmin Bank and KDB, respectively. The Nghi-Son 2 Project in Vietnam will seek financing from KEXIM and the Nam Dinh 1 project as well.

·       Our Plans. SFOC will closely monitor the state of financing of these projects. In order to prevent such financing, we will show financial institutions that such investments may turn out risky due to stronger climate and air quality regulations and the removal of schemes practically subsidizing coal power. We will also publicize the human rights violations and environmental harms that the overseas projects may potentially cause.