DPRK steps up efforts to improve power plants

Instutie for Far Easter Studies (IFES)
NK Brief No. 08-9-30-1

North Korea is accelerating projects to repair and upgrade power plants throughout the country in order to resolve its electrical shortage problems. According to the (North) Korean Central Broadcasting Station on September 25, oil pressure regulators on generators 1 and 2 at the Soopoong Power Plant on the Yalu River were replaced with more efficient digital regulators in order to increase power production capabilities. The broadcasters also announced on the 22nd that the Number 3 Boiler at the East Pyongyang Steam Power Plant, which supplies electricity to the Pyongyang area, is undergoing a major overhaul, just as its Number 1 Boiler did in July.

A ‘February 17 Shock Troop’ of scientists and technicians from Kim Il Sung University, Kim Chaek University of Technology, Pyongyang Machinery College, Han Duk Su Pyongyang Technical College, Pyongyang Computer College, and the Ham Heung Su College of Locomotive Power has been dispatched to the East Pyongyang plant and are working on overhauling and updating the equipment there.

The Pyongyang Steam Power Plant, in the Pyongchun neighborhood of Pyongyang, is also undergoing major upgrades in preparation for winter, with boilers Number 2 and 7 overhauled and back on-line and Number 4 Boiler’s overhaul in its final stage. Electrical facilities on the Boojeon River, Jangja River, Daedong River, and Nam River, as well as the Taechun, Seodusu, and Samsu Power Plants, are all undergoing upgrades on power generation equipment and water flow systems.

North Korea is also pushing forward with the building of new power production facilities at the Yesung River Power Plant, Wonsan Centennial Power Plant, Urang Power Plant, Youngwon Power Plant, Geumya River Power Plant, Baekdu Mountain Military-first Centennial Power Plant, and the Geumjin River Guchang Power Plant. Cabinet officials from the government’s construction bureau have been dispatched to each location in order to ensure the early completion, while legislation supporting the construction of small and mid-sized power plants is also being pushed.

As North Korea celebrates the 60th anniversary of its founding, it is emphasizing economic development, and to this end, has completed construction of the Number 1 Generator at the Yesung River Centennial Power Plant, the Sungchun Power Plant, and the first stage of construction at the Wonsan Centennial Power Plant. In the 2008 New Year’s Joint Editorial, the government promoted the construction of large-scale hydroelectric facilities as well as small and mid-size power plants, along with modernization of existing power production equipment, in order to increase electrical production.


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