Naepo City’s latest district heating plant aimed to improve the standard of living for citizens. GE Vernova helped when it ran into a major roadblock.

The challenge

While Naepo City needed a new plant to provide power and heat to its citizens and the national grid, public outcry from those citizens—and government intervention—convinced the plant’s operators that the originally proposed solid refuse fuel (SRF) plant would not be welcome in the district.

The solution

Shifting the plant’s internals to a GE Vernova combined heat and power (CHP) configuration using liquified natural gas (LNG) significantly improved the plant’s fuel efficiency and reduced carbon emissions. As a result, Naepo’s citizens may no longer need to purchase individual hot water boilers during the city’s colder winter months.


Naepo District Heating Plant by the numbers


Changing the main energy source of the heat source facility… leads to [more] significant improvements in fuel efficiency, reduced emissions, and enhanced cost-effectiveness. The plant increases energy output while reducing carbon emissions per unit of fuel consumed and supporting the transition towards a lower carbon future in the country.

Ramesh Singaram

President & CEO, GE Vernova’s Asia Gas Power business


South Korea is one of dozens of countries that signed onto the Paris Agreement in 2016 and has begun migrating away from traditional energy sources (coal) to cleaner, more environmentally friendly ones.

In the country’s Naepo district, Naepo Green Energy Co., Ltd. proposed to build and operate a new combined heat and power (CHP) plant. The company originally planned to construct a solid refuse fuel (SRF) plant, which would burn discarded material like fabric, textiles, waste paper, cardboard, and scrap plastics as fuel.

However, those plans hit a major roadblock when Naepo’s citizens—concerned about the plant’s potentially high air pollution levels—petitioned local government to halt its construction. With millions of dollars of investment on the line tied to Naepo’s desire to raise its standard of living, the government agreed to a compromise.

Plant development would be permitted to continue, if it changed from SRF to a cleaner operating liquified natural gas (LNG) plant. Aware of GE Vernova’s construction of a similar facility in Anyang, Naepo Green Energy contracted with the company to supply equipment and services to the Naepo plant. The plant began operating in October 2023 and is supplying more “reliable, affordable, and lower-carbon electricity” (according to a Naepo Green Energy representative) as well as steam to the Naepo district heating system.

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