February 18, 2011 / 1:14 AM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 1-KEPCO to invest $7.2 bln in smart grid by 2030

* Investment to cut carbon emissions, boost efficiency

* 400 bln won to be spent annually in next five yrs

* Seen boosting renewables use, overseas opportunities

(Adds details, quotes)

SEOUL, Feb 18 (Reuters) - State-run Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO) (015760.KS) said on Friday it would invest 8 trillion won ($7.18 billion) in its smart grid business by 2030 to cut carbon emissions and boost the efficiency of electricity facilities.

Of the total investment 400 billion won per year will be spent in the next five years, 2.3 trillion won through 2020 and the remainder through 2030 to upgrade power transmission and distribution systems and switch meters, the company said in a statement.

South Korea said in early 2010 that it aimed for spending of 27.5 trillion won over the next two decades on smart grids to make electricity distribution more efficient, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save $26 billion in energy imports. [ID:nTOE60O04O]

The OECD’s fastest-growing carbon polluter and the world’s No.5 oil importer wants to create a nationwide smart grid by 2030 for an electricity market worth 68 trillion won.

In a smart grid, computers and sensors installed at power plants, substations and along power lines signal control centres that better manage the flow of electricity.

KEPCO added the investment would help it lift the proportion of power nationwide drawn from renewable sources, including solar and wind power, to 11 percent, and to target overseas markets with related technology.

Shares of KEPCO rose 1.38 percent to 29,450 won as of 0140 GMT on Friday, outperforming the broader market .KS11. ($1=1114.0 Won)

Reporting by Cho Mee-young; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner

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