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South Korea acts over water supply

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Paldang water intake station supplies daily 4.49 million tons of water for residential and industrial use to 24 municipalities in the metropolitan area.

The South Korean Ministry of Environment (Minister Han Wha-jin) has announced that Minister Han ha-jin visited the Paldang water intake station (located in Hanam, Gyeonggi-do), a critical national infrastructure for water supply in the capital region, recently. During the visit, the Minister inspected the current status and plans for water supply in the semiconductor industry through the metropolitan water supply system.

This visit was arranged as a follow-up measure to the third public hearing held on January 15, as emphasized by the Yoon Suk Yeol administration, regarding the water supply plan for the promotion of the 'advanced semiconductor industry.' The Minister of Environment personally inspected and examined the water supply plans during this visit.

Currently, the Paldang water intake station supplies approximately 4.49 million tons of water daily for both domestic and industrial purposes to 24 municipalities in the metropolitan area (14 million people). In the semiconductor sector alone, it provides around 470,000 tons of water daily to the areas of Giheung, Hwaseong, and Pyeongtaek. Additionally, there are plans to supply a significant amount of water, approximately 800,000 tons per day*, to the future Yongin semiconductor national industrial complex.

Due to the prolonged construction period exceeding 10 years for such large-scale water facilities, the Ministry plans to expedite the installation of water supply facilities by dividing the approach into short-term supply measures that maximize the capacity of existing facilities and utilize treated wastewater, as well as long-term supply measures involving the construction of new water facilities. In particular, the Ministry aims to initiate projects in a timely manner to ensure water supply aligns with the investment timing of businesses.

As a short-term supply measure, the plan is to supply a total of 200,000 tons per day to the Yongin semiconductor national industrial complex from 2031 onwards. This will be achieved by utilizing the surplus capacity of the Paldang Dam (80,000 tons daily) and substituting 120,000 tons daily with treated wastewater in the metropolitan water supply system. For the long-term supply plan, construction of new water facilities (intake facilities, pipelines, etc.) with a capacity of 600,000 tons per day is scheduled until 2034. The project is set to begin feasibility studies this year, followed by the full-scale implementation of the project.

Minister Han Wha-jin emphasized, "Water supply in the semiconductor industry is a crucial infrastructure for advanced industries, and proactive measures tailored to the investment plans of businesses are necessary to secure the national competitiveness of the semiconductor industry."

She added, "We will do our best to ensure that water supply to newly developed advanced semiconductor industrial complexes, such as the Yongin national industrial complex, proceeds smoothly and timely. This effort is aimed at securing South Korea's leadership in the advanced semiconductor industry."

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