The Germans are not the only ones to say nein danke to atomic energy. South Korea’s new president Moon Jae-in on Tuesday announced the end of power plant life extensions and scrapped plans for any new reactors. The decision should not be catastrophic for Korea Electric Power Corporation in the way it was for German utilities. True, the company’s shares dropped 5 per cent on the news. And the group disappointed analysts with its first-quarter earnings. Yet the two main challenges facing Kepco, overcapacity and margin pressure, should ease this year. In the first three months, half of Kepco’s power came from coal and a third from nuclear. With a fifth of its nuclear fleet closed for maintenance, the dependence on coal was greater than usual. Operating profit margins more than halved to 9.7 per cent year-on-year as the company had to source power externally and buy more coal just as prices recovered to reach multi year highs.
FT 21st May 2017 read more »