KEPCO Plays Key Role in South Korean Economy
The advent of the electrical age in Korea began in 1887
with the illumination of the Yi Dynasty's Kyongbok Palace, not long
after the invention of the incandescent light bulb. Shortly thereafter,
Emperor Gojong dispatched a special envoy to the Edison General
Electric Company in the United States to arrange the installation of
three 7 kilowatt steam power generators, and so was born the Hansung
Electric Company, the first electric power company in Korea.
More than 60 years later, the Korea Electric Company (KECO) was
established with the merging of three regional companies to form a
single national electric power company. In 1982, KECO was renamed the
Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) and became a wholly
Today, KEPCO is the sole provider of electrical generation and
distribution in South Korea, serving a population of nearly 49 million.
In 2005, the company provided a total of 332,413 gigawatt-hours of
electricity across the national power grid. The transmission network
currently measures approximately 30,000 kilometers in length and the
distribution network is nearly 400,000 kilometers long. KEPCO's
substation capacity is now in excess of 200 giga volt amperes to meet
the ongoing construction of high-capacity lines throughout South Korea.
The company currently operates 58 power-generating plants, 16 of which
"Many of KEPCO's transmission-related facilities were newly constructed
and others have been recently renovated," comments Jung-ho Jang,
business coordinator at ESRI Korea. "Because their legacy system was
text-based, the company faced many challenges in managing that
information and responding in a timely manner in the case of a power
outage or other emergency."
KEPCO plays a key role in the South Korean economy due to the country's
rapid economic expansion over the past decade. The company's workforce
totals more than 34,000 employees and it is one of the most profitable
companies in the country.
The Korean government regularly issues a Long-term Power Development
Plan (LPDP), which provides structure and direction in meeting the
country's increasing demand for electricity and a guide for additional
power generation facilities, as well as for the expansion of its
transmission and distribution network. The new plan projects an
increase in the countrys power generating capacity to 88,150 megawatts
Comments Jae-ho Park, general manager of the Transmission Division,
"Our substation capacity is expected to propel KEPCO into one of the
five largest electric utility companies worldwide and establish it as
an electric power hub in Northeastern Asia."
Currently, the company is involved in various foreign projects
including The Malaya Thermal Power Plant in the Philippines and the
Wuzhi Circulated Fluidized Bed Combustion (CFBC) Power Project and
Jiulishan Coal-fired Power Project in the Henan Province of China.
KEPCO is also working with The Korean Peninsula Energy Development
Organization (KEDO) to build nuclear power generating units in the
Kumho region of North Korea and is involved in transmission and
distribution consulting projects in Myanmar, the Philippines, and Libya.
KEPCO began the use of GIS in 2003 with the implementation of its
Transmission GIS (TGIS) pilot project. The installation includes
ArcSDE, ArcIMS, ArcInfo, ArcEditor, ArcGIS Schematics and others. KEPCO
and Sundosoft, Inc., an affiliated company of ESRI Korea, were
responsible for implementing the project.
TGIS is composed of five primary applications including the management
of base maps, overhead transmission facilities, underground
transmission facilities, system management and an online facility
search. The spatial database contains all electrical transmission
infrastructure and facilities information including implementation and
modification history and connection information. The system also
maintains details regarding the availability of nearby resources for
maintenance and repair projects. TGIS has facilitated the integration
of all of KEPCO's transmission related data, which has led to a major
cost savings for the company.
The Korea Electric Power Data Network, one of KEPCO's subsidiaries, has
developed linkages from TGIS to other systems for facility planning,
construction management, operation management and facility maintenance.
In addition, the spatial database is available to other government
agencies for a nationwide geographic information-sharing project.
"TGIS has enabled KEPCO to more efficiently manage its
transmission and substation information with the integration of
facilities asset data into the GIS, the automation of certain
maintenance procedures, and the implementation of a GIS-based site
selection process. As a result, the company has been able to save costs
and make better and quicker decisions, which makes it more competitive.
"In the future, we will integrate ArcGIS Server with our enterprise
resource planning (ERP) system to better manage our business processes
and distribute GIS services across the organization," concludes Park.
Published Thursday, June 7th, 2007