Korea Western Power Co. (KOWEPO) is one of the five power companies that were spun off in accordance with the government’s step to restructure the power industry in April 2001. The power company operates four power complexes, including those in Taean, Pyeongtaek and Seoincheon. It has power facilities with a combined capacity of 11,780MW, accounting for 10.4 percent of the nation’s total power generation.
KOWEPO boasts an unplanned loss ratio of 0.076 percent based on the world’s best-ever power operation technology. The power company has established itself as a public energy entity respected by the people, as it won the highest grade in a government evaluation of disaster management in 2017 on top of the 2017 Korea Green Climate Award and was selected of one of the Most Admired Companies.
True to the vision “Energy Company Creating People’s Happiness,” KOWEPO established a growth roadmap based on a mix of low-carbon power. All personnel at KOWEPO are concentrating their capabilities on ensuring the optimal operation of the Taean IGCC (Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle) Power Plant, strengthening new and renewable energies, creating quality jobs, and developing eco-friendly facilities and technologies related to the 4th Industrial Revolution.
KOWEPO established a companywide ISO9001 quality management system in 2002. KOWEPO became the first power company to introduce the 6-Sigma and recommendation system to make routine innovation part of its corporate life. KOWEPO, making the most of the 6-Sigma and quality improvement methods, has implemented 1,380 projects and about 130,000 suggestion proposals, thus greatly contributing to improving corporate profits through the improving of financial soundness worth 2.2 trillion won. The power company has established companywide quality management infrastructure by nurturing 30 national quality management masters, about 450 employees with the 6-Sigma belt, and seven “suggestion masters.”
Starting with the 2005 Korean National Quality Awards grand prix, KOWEPO has been recognized for outcomes involving quality management activities as the power company got the highest grade in the 2007 Government Innovation Evaluation, and it saw 97 KOWEPO quality management circles win a presidential ward in the 2007 national quality management circle competition, the largest-number presidential award winners. KOWEPO also made it onto the list of Excellent Quality Competitiveness Enterprises, and it won the Korea Management Grand Prix for the second straight year, the Korea Innovation Grand Prix, and Idea Management Grand Prix, also for the second straight year.
In August 2016, KOWEPO dedicated the IGCC power plant at the Taean Power Complex, a state research project designed to introduce Korea’s first high-efficiency, new energy technology through gasification to lower greenhouse gas emissions and utilizing clean coal utilization technology. The power company is also aggressively striving to reduce fine dust by introducing such new technologies as Cyclone-type Desulfurization and dust collection technologies.
KOWEPO is the sole public entity to be relocated to a provincial country area. The power company developed a technology to substitute oyster shell waste abandoned in the county area for limestone. The project was selected as one of the best collaboration practices among public entities by the Ministry of Strategy and Finance.
KOWEPO also implements such projects as a program designed to provide support for shared growth with SMEs, the utilization of hot waste water from the Taean Thermal Power Plants, to promote win-win strategies with the local community.
KOWEPO headquarters in Taean, Chungcheongnam-do. (Photos: KOWEPO)