|An artist's impression of a startup cluster that SK E&S plans to build in the Saemangeum area in North Jeolla Province Courtesy of SK E&S|
By Nam Hyun-woo
A consortium led by SK E&S will invest 2 trillion won ($1.7 billion) to set up an industrial complex in the Saemangeum area in North Jeolla Province, in return for winning a license to build and operate a floating solar farm in the reclaimed area.
According to SK E&S, the 50:50 consortium with SK Broadband was selected as the preferred bidder for a development project pursued by the Saemangeum Development and Investment Agency. In the project, the agency sought private companies to invest in the area and promised to provide incentives to the selected consortium.
SK E&S submitted a plan for a startup cluster, data centers, network cables and other business infrastructure to attract promising info-tech companies from around the world.
In return, SK E&S was awarded a license to operate a 200-megawatt floating solar farm in the area. The government is planning to provide a total of 2.4 gigawatts through solar farms in the area.
SK E&S said this will make it the largest floating solar farm operator in Korea and add momentum to its efforts to enhance renewable energy businesses.
The agency expects solar farm operators in the area will be able to see 3.8 billion won of net profit per 100 megawatts.
"Companies cannot guarantee their survival unless they make pre-emptive efforts to address climate change and carbon emissions," SK E&S CEO Yu Jeong-joon said. "Based on this project, SK E&S will enhance its clean energy businesses within and outside Korea and make more contributions to local economies."
SK E&S, a gas company of SK Group, runs renewable power generation facilities across the country that generate 110 megawatts of electricity.