South Korea's industrial power sales rise

Seoul, July 18 (IANS) South Korea's industrial electricity sales rose last month as power-consuming industries showed strong exports, the commerce ministry said Thursday.

Power sales in the industrial sector, a barometer of industrial activities, was 22.09 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) in June, up 2.5 percent from a year earlier, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTEI).

The June gain was attributable to brisk exports of chipmakers and petrochemical companies that consume much electricity in producing goods. Exports of chips and petrochemical products increased 6.7 percent and 4.8 percent each last month on an on- year basis, reported Xinhua.

Total power sales, including household and industrial demand, increased 2.1 percent from a year earlier to 37.37 billion kilowatts in June due to strong air-conditioning demand during the summer season.

Electricity sales for education facilities purpose grew 2.4 percent in June from a year earlier, with those for general and household usage rose 1.3 percent and 1.7 percent each last month.

Meanwhile, peak demand for power rose 1.6 percent from a year earlier to 68.47 million kilowatts in June, with 5.09 million kilowatts of electricity left as reserves.

The South Korean government was implementing energy-saving measures, including curtailed subway service, to tackle a likely power shortage during the peak usage in August.

The country has been struggling to keep its power reserves above 4 million kilowatts following the shutdown of three reactors out of safety concerns and six other reactors for maintenance out of the combined 23 reactors.

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