Korea Electric Power Corp announces new CEO

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Former vice-minister of trade, industry and energy, Cheong Seung-il, has been appointed as the 21st President and CEO of state-run utility Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO).

The appointment was approved at a temporary shareholders’ meeting held late last week at KEPCO headquarters located in Naju, South Jeolla Province.

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Cheong has served in various key public official posts, including president and CEO at Korea Gas Corporation in 2018, and deputy minister for energy and resources and deputy minister for trade and investment in 2016. He also served as director general for Free Trade Agreement (FTA) policy in 2015, and director general at the Korea Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) in the early 2010s.

Cheong Seung-il, newly appointed CEO of Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) / Courtesy of KEPCO
Cheong Seung-il, courtesy of KEPCO

According to news sources present at an inaugural ceremony, Cheong urged staff and executives to “lead the changing paradigm of zero carbon” and “seriously consider an aggressive transition of the energy system.” He emphasised the key goals of decentralisation, decarbonisation and smarter services.

Cheong plans to establish a grid system optimized for renewable energy, as well use digital tools such as artificial intelligence to advance the nation’s green development.

Cheong graduated from Seoul National University with both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in business administration.

Said Cheong, “I extend my sincerest appreciation to electricity customers, domestic and international shareholders and business partners…KEPCO will stay at the forefront in building a new growth engine by achieving “digital transformation” of energy, which is expected to serve as a new pillar of the fourth industrial revolution. KEPCO’s efforts will also extend to creating high quality jobs by increasing the export of our nuclear power and energy businesses”.

Cheong Seung-il succeeds former KEPCO CEO Kim Jong-kap.

Korea is traditionally reliant on fossil fuels however, according to the International Energy Agency’s latest country report, the government is committed to decarbonising by 2050, increasing renewables while phasing out coal in the energy mix, improving energy efficiency, as well as fostering the country’s nascent hydrogen industry.