Powering Korea’s next “growth engine”

More investment and new opportunities need to be identified to respond to challenges facing Korea’s energy industry, energy leaders heard at a WEC Korea event held in partnership with the country’s Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy (MOTIE) in Seoul last month (22 January)

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Korean energy leaders gather at WEC Korea’s event to discuss the future of the country’s energy industry

Mr Yoon Sang Jik, the minister of MOTIE, made the remarks at the “2015 Energy Industry New Year” meeting. Echoing the messages of the Council’s Trilemma work, Mr Jik highlighted that both the government and the energy industry must work together in order to actively respond to the rapidly changing global energy market. He said: “There is a crucial need to change our perception in a way it enables us to find new opportunities.”

The minister stressed the importance of increasing investment and seeking new opportunities in an energy industry where information and communications technology is converging with the energy business. He referred to this as the country’s next “growth engine”.

Nearly 200 energy leaders from government, public authorities, research institutions and different sectors of energy industry gathered at the WEC Korea event.

CEOs and MOTIE minister Mr Yoon Sang Jik discussed the implications of the sharp plunge of the oil price on Korean business

The event also saw a closed meeting between the minister and 20 CEOs of leading Korean energy companies including KEPCO, SK Innovation, GS Caltex and S-OIL. The meeting addressed the current, most critical issues affecting the Korean energy industry, identified as the sharp decline in the oil price; designing a new climate change regime; and strengthening the safety of the country’s energy system.

The CEOs, from public authorities and various energy sectors including petroleum, gas and technology, discussed the challenges confronting the Korean energy industry with the minister.

The discussion was focused on the slump in the oil price, which has caused major South Korean refiners to suffer their worst profit performance in 2014. CEOs from the oil refinery industry forecasted that the slump is likely to continue in 2015, but they also emphasised that it is important to stay optimistic and to try to turn the risk into an opportunity.

The WEC Korea event was covered by more than 140 media articles including daily and online newspapers as well as energy publications.

New website

WEC Korea has launched its new website: http://weckorea.org/?lang=en

The website aims to provide members of WEC Korea with more in-depth information about its activities, news of events and various materials published by the World Energy Council.