SEOUL, June 3 South Korea's tax on coal imports
for power generation will start in July and duty on some
alternative fuels will be cut, the government said on Tuesday.
The planned tax on coal, broadly announced in November, is
expected to push up electricity costs, prompting consumers to
curb power use as Asia's fourth-largest economy battles to avoid
blackouts during peak demand in winter and summer.
The country's five utilities, fully owned by state-run Korea
Electric Power Corp (KEPCO), import around 21-22
million tonnes of coal per quarter, according to industry data.
The tax on coal was in line with market expectations, with
the finance ministry saying in a statement that a rate of 19
Korean won ($0.02) would be imposed per kilogram (kg) of coal
with a minimum 5,000 kcal of net calorific value (NCV). For coal
below 5,000 kcal/kg NCV, the rate will be 17 won per kg.
To boost demand for alternative fuels for
electricity-generation, the government will lower taxes from
July on liquefied natural gas (LNG) to 42 won per kg from 60
won, propane to 14 won per kg from 20 won and kerosene to 72 won
per litre from 104 won. Those cuts were also in line with
The country last week announced plans to impose tough caps
on CO2 emissions from utilities and industry as part of a carbon
trading scheme that will be the world's second biggest when it
opens at the start of next year.
($1 = 1024.0000 South Korean Won)
(Reporting by Meeyoung Cho; Editing by Joseph Radford)