Korea Eximbank and KINU Hold Conference on Development Cooperation for North Korea
Bang visits a hydrogen fuel cell power plant in support of the nation’s hydrogen energy sector
Bang Moon-kyu (right), chairman and president of Korea Eximbank visits Daesan Green Energy in Seosan, South Chungcheong Province to support the hydrogen energy sector on Aug. 26. On the left is Kim Young-wook, CEO of Daesan Green Energy. (Photo: Korea Eximbank)
The Export-Import Bank of Korea (Korea Eximbank) announced on Aug. 27 that it held an online conference under the theme of "International Cooperation Plan and the Roles of the Inter-Korean Cooperation Fund" in honor of the fund’s 30th anniversary in collaboration with the Korea Institute for National Unification (KINU).
The conference was streamed live on YouTube with the participation of Unification Minister Lee In-young, Bang Moon-kyu, chairman and president of Korea Eximbank and Ko Yu-hwan, chairman of the Korea Institute for National Unification (KINU) in accordance with the government's social distancing guidelines against the spread of the COVID-19.
In the conference, the participants sought the roles of the Inter-Korean Cooperation Fund in a changing environment by zeroing in on the status of the North Korean economy after sanctions on North Korea and the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus.
They discussed multilateral cooperation measures for North Korea’s development in terms of technological cooperation and financing.
“The global health crisis caused by the spread of COVID-19 is an opportunity to highlight the importance of multilateral cooperation,” Bang said in his opening speech during the online event.
“In inter-Korean cooperation, efforts should also be made to seek measures to embrace North Korea as a member of the international community by supporting North Korea’s expansion of development capabilities.”
The conference consisted of two sessions. In the first session, Lee Soo-hyung, a senior research fellow at the KINU, examined the direction of humanitarian support with the Inter-Korean Cooperation Fund through a multi-faceted review of North Korea’s food shortage.
Lee Jong-kyu, a senior researcher at the Korea Development Institute (KDI) made a presentation on changes to North Korea’s economic policies due to North Korea’s worsening international trade based on empirical data.
Yang Moon-soo, vice president of the University of North Korean Studies presided over the second session.
Choi Chang-yong, a professor at the KDI School of Public Policy suggested a measure to effectively apply South Korea’s experience in technological cooperation with former communist countries to North Korea.
Kwon Yul, director of the International Development Cooperation Center at the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy spoke about step-by-step multilateral cooperation tasks for the development of North Korea and the roles of the Inter-Korean Cooperation Fund.
In the meantime, Bang visited a by-product hydrogen fuel cell power plant to support the nation’s hydrogen energy sector, a future growth driver of Korea. Korea Eximbank announced on Aug. 26 that Bang visited Daesan Green Energy in Seosan, South Chungcheong Province.
Daesan Green Energy is the world’s first hydrogen fuel cell power plant using by-product hydrogen. The power plant was built with a total cost of about 250 billion won on land of 20,000 square meters. It has been generating 400,000 MWh of electricity annually since June 2020.
Fuel cell power generation is eco-friendly power generation that does not emit harmful environmental pollutants such as greenhouse gas emissions, sulfur oxides, and nitrogen oxides, but produces only pure water as a by-product.
The largest shareholder of Daesan Green Energy is Hanwha Energy which holds a 49 percent stake.
Hanwha Energy is engaged in the solar power generation business by performing collective energy projects such as cogeneration in Korea and the solar power generation business from business development to power generation to electric power sales.
“As competition to secure global energy resources intensifies, demand for domestic and foreign power generation using renewable energy resources such as hydrogen and solar power is expected to grow in the future,” said Jung In-sub, CEO of Hanwha Energy, in a meeting with Bang.
“As major countries have entered a competition to create a global hydrogen economy ecosystem, we will actively support projects in order to foster Korea’s hydrogen industry in the future,” Bang said in response.