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The Export-Import Bank of Korea (www.koreaexim.go.kr, Chairman BANG, Moon kyu, “Korea Eximbank”) announced August 13 that it will provide 56.2 million euros in Project Financing (PF) to support the Irish Energy Storage System (ESS*) Project led by Hanwha Energy (CEO Chung In-seop).
※ ESS (Energy Storage System) : It stores and releases electricity on a demand basis, which can be used across power industries dealing with storing and supplying surplus electricity and stabilizing the power grid.
Chairman Bang and CEO Chung met at the headquarters of Korea Eximbank and signed the financing agreement to support the project.
This project aims to establish and operate 200MW energy storage facilities at two sites in central Ireland.
It was reported that the share of renewable energy in Ireland, mainly generated from wind power, has increased sharply from 16% in 2010 to 38% in 2020, out of total power supply.
For this reason, there is a strong need to tackle the problem of frequency shift volatility in the power grid caused by climate change events, such as wind changes.
This project will also provide ancillary services including regulating the frequency of power systems. Since ESS can efficiently store and supply electricity through charge and discharge controls, the system is expected to be effective in stabilizing power output, quickly responding to power waste and shortages.
Hanwha Energy is leading this greenfield project by owning 80% of the project equity and acting as an EPC contactor and operator with other Korean companies supplying key equipment such as batteries.
"We have continued to cooperate with Hanwha Energy in financial structuring from the very early stage of the project to fully back their winning of the project.” Chairman Bang said at the signing ceremony.
He added, “As many of Korean energy companies are capable of manufacturing core equipment for ESS, we plan to further expand our strategic support for their overseas opportunities in the global new green energy marketplace."
CEO Chung said, “This project is important in the sense that it is the first project where a Korean energy developer is providing grid stabilization services to a major Eurozone country with Korean equipment supported by Korean Eximbank’s financing.”
He added, “Hanwha Energy has been leading the trend of green growth globally and will proactively expand investments in renewable energy distribution and related services worldwide based on strong collaboration with domestic financial institutions such as Korea Eximbank.”
Despite the on-going COVID-19 travel restrictions limiting Korea Eximbank staff’s travel to Ireland, Korea Eximbank has successfully closed its financing deal for the project by utilizing drone filming data and online conferences.
A Korea eximbank official said, "With this agreement, we have set up a financial support model for ESS businesses which have been a difficult sector to provide financial support through project finance." He added, "This deal will act as a benchmark for Korean companies promoting overseas renewable energy projects in the future."