News

Hyundai Steel and POSCO start joint project to recycle seashells

Hyundai Steel and POSCO, Korea’s two largest steel manufacturers are starting a joint project in order to recycle seashells for producing steel. So far steelmakers rely on limestone in order to break down iron ore into fine pieces. However, Hyundai Steel and POSCO aim to go greener and as South Korea alone produces over 300,000 tons of discarded seashells every year, the companies plan to recycle them as a replacement for limestone.

Just as limestone, seashells are made mostly of calcium carbonate. So far it was not sure whether or not seashells could be used in the same way as limestone in order to produce steel, as so far no technology existed to extract the needed substance from the seashells. However, thanks to years of research by Jeollanamdo based company Yeosu Bio, engineers came up with the necessary technology on behalf of the two steel giants.

This new technology is hoped to help solve environmental issues connected to steel production and to help the two companies to ensure carbon neutrality in the future.

Moreover, their main steel plant, which is also the largest steel plant in the world is located in the Gwangyang Bay Area in the southern part of Jeollanamdo. Therefore, Jeollanamdo will play an important role in the upcoming greener production of steel.

More information on the Gwangyang Bay Area Free Economic Zone can be found here.

Gwangyang Bay Area Free Economic Bay – English

Jeollanamdo’s first store in Europe

On September 7th, the first Jeollanamdo shop-in-shop opened in Europe at Panasia Asia Food Center in Vienna. The Shop-in-Shop offers some of the finest products from the Jeollanamdo region which is well known for its rice, grain, vegetables and seaweed. For the opening ceremony several high-ranking representatives of Korean companies and politics in Vienna were invited to cut ribbons to formally open Jeollanamdos first shop in Europe.

Panasia is one of Europe’s biggest importers of Korean and Asian food products and is running local stores across various cities in Europe, including Vienna, Austria and Frankfurt, Germany. Panasia became the first offline-partner of Jeollanamdo in Europe and is aiming to import more and more products from Jeollanamdo.

The Jeollanamdo shop offers various products, including rice, grain, seaweed and green tea from Jeollanamdo’s famous green tea plantations in Boseong County. As Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving) is coming closer, Ddeok, a Korean traditional rice cake, also becomes available at Panasia, imported directly from Jeollanamdo.

Jeollanamdo Food Ambassador Program

  • Who we are
    • We are the Jeollanamdo Europe Office, we are the representative  office of the Jeollanamdo Provincial Government of South Korea in Frankfurt, Germany. Our mission is to promote various food products from Jeollanamdo in Europe. To give you the chance to try some of the best and most delicious food products Jeollanamdo has to offer, we are launching the Jeollanamdo Food Ambassador Program 2021 in Europe.
  • The program
    • We are looking for a maximum of 50 people from across Europe, preferably from various countries, to promote the wide variety of food products from Jeollanamdo. The duration of the program is 3 months.
    • You will receive 3 boxes, one each month from October till December 2021. Each box will contain a few food products from Jeollanamdo.
  • Your task
    • Your mission is to create content (pictures, videos, etc) containing the items in the box.
    • You should make at least 3 posts for each box containing the items in the box and post them under the hashtags #JeonnamFoodBox2021 and #KitchenOfKorea
  • Requirements
    • You must be at least 18 years old.
    • You must be a resident of a European country.
    • You should have at least one public social media account and consider yourself an active social media user.
    • You are able to create content in English or another European language.
    • Further information on our requirements, terms and conditions can be found here.
  • How to apply
    •  You can apply by filling in this google form here https://forms.gle/hZ1WJm9ACYj1Wm6FA 
    • The deadline is Sunday the 12th of September 2021
    • We’ll look through all the applications and contact the selected people about a week after the deadline via email and the contacted people then have a week to get back to us. 
  • We look forward to hearing from you and if you have any questions feel free to contact us via our social media channels or through email.

Jeollanamdo’s Tidal Flats become Korea’s 15th World Heritage Site

The UNESCO World Heritage Committee listed four “Getbol”, Korean Tidal Flats, along the south-western coast of the Korean peninsula as a new Natural World Heritage Site on Monday, 26th of July. The official listing happened during the 44th session of the Committee, held in Fuzhou, China. By this, the Getbol become Korea’s 15th World Heritage and just the second Natural Heritage Site, alongside the Jeju volcanic island and its famous lava tubes.

The four Getbol are the Shinan Getbol in Shinan County, Boseong-Suncheon Getbol in Boseong County and Suncheon City, all located in Jeollanamdo, along with Seocheon Getbol in Seocheon County, Chungcheongnamdo and Gochang Getbol in Gochang County in Jeollabukdo.

With 1,100 km² the tidal flats in Shinan have the largest area of the four, while the other tidal flats cover 60 km². Some of them are unique wetlands designated by the Ramsar Convention.

After failing to be listed in 2018 due to a lack of information the World Heritage Committee finally listed the Tidal Flats, acknowledging their outstanding role in forming a unique eco-system along the south-western coast of Korea. The site is not only home to over 2000 species of flora and fauna but is also a stopover for 22 endangered migration birds.

The site demonstrates the link between geodiversity and biodiversity, and demonstrates the dependence of cultural diversity and human activity on the natural environment.

UNESCO World Heritage Committee
Suncheonman Bay

The promotion as a UNESCO World Heritage will have a huge positive impact on the region. It will not only raise awareness about this unique ecosystem and draw many tourists to Jeollanamdo, but it will also ensure the highest level of protection for the area and therefore for its wildlife. It will ensure the life of millions of migratory waterbirds for whose survival the Getbol provide a critical habitat.

Jeollanamdo and Esbjerg sign MoU

Kim Yung-rok, governor of South Korea’s province Jeollanamdo and Jesper Frost Rasmussen, mayor of Esbjerg Commune in the Kingdom of Denmark signed a MoU on Wednesday (30.06.2021) morning.

Through the memorandum both parties promise closer cooperation in the fields of renewable energy to fight climate change together. They plan to achieve this by exchanging information and experience as well as exploring possibilities for joint commercial projects and partnerships.

The main focus of this new cooperation will be on offshore wind energy. Just earlier this year, Jeollanamdo has announced to build a 8.2 GW wind farm at the coast of Sinan county. It will become the largest wind farm in the world. Jeollanamdo and Esbjerg are ideal partners, as Esbjerg is one of the world’s leading ports in providing infrastructure for off shore wind parks in the North Sea of Europe.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the signing ceremony was held online. The MoU will have a duration of three years but can be expended.

Spanish firm to invest $100 m in Jeollanamdo

During a business forum in Madrid, Spain, with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, South Korea’s President Moon Jae In proposed a closer partnership between the two countries in order to tackle climate change in a combined effort.

Shortly after the meeting two Spanish firms revealed their plans to invest a combined sum of $ 200 m in the renewable energy business in South Korea. While the Madrid based company Ocean Winds will make an initial investment of $ 100 m to establish an offshore wind power plant in Incheon, EDPR will invest an additional $ 100 m in a solar power farm in Goheung, Jeollanamdo.

This investment is another big step in Jeollanamdo’s blue economy plan to become a center of Korea’s renewable energy industry. Just earlier this year, President Moon unveiled plans for the world’s biggest wind farm just west of the coast of Mokpo (Read more here).

Marianne Stöger receives the Florence Nightingale Medal

It was revealed that Marianne Stöger (87) has been selected as the 48th Korean winner of the “Florence Nightingale Medal” which is awarded by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Marianne Stöger was born in Austria and graduated from a nursing school in Innsbruck. After her graduation she decided to go to Sorok Island to help the people with Hansen disease living there, because she had heard that there was a shortage of nurses, even though she had no connection to Korea. She served the people on Sorok Island for over 40 years starting from 1962. She cleaned the patient’s pus with her bare hands, applied medicine and devoted herself to serve the people there. In 2005 she returned home to Innsbruck, since her age and health made it difficult to continue her volunteer work and she did not want to become a burden to the people she had helped. She left Korea with only a farewell letter to her acquaintances.  Marianne is also an honorary member of the Korean Nursing Association.
According to the Red Cross the award is a result of her noble spirit to serve across borders and dedication to the healing of the Hansen’s disease patients and their return to society she has shown.

The Florence Nightingale Medal was created by the ICRC in 1912 to commemorate Nightingale’s dedication during the Crimean War. Since 1920 every 2 years not more than 50 people that have done outstanding work in nursing are selected to receive the Florence Nightingale Medal.

Major chemical producers to expand production in Jeollanamdo

Several global players in the chemistry industry have announced to expand the production in their factories in Jeollanamdo. Among them were Korea’s biggest chemical producer LG Chem, as well as Hanwha Corp. and the Korean-Japanese joint venture Kumho Mitsui Chemicals.

Kumho Mitsui Chemicals is a joint venture between Japanese Mitsui Chemicals and Korean Kumho Petrochemical which was formed in 1989. The company announced to add another production facility to its already existing facilitiy in Yeosu, Jeollanamdo. This expansion will increase Kumho Mitsui Chemicals production of polyurethane from 410,000 tons up to 610,000 tons. The additional facility is expected to be completed by the end of 2023, aiming to start production in early 2024. The expansion is part of Kumho Mitsui Chemical’s vow to contribute to the global fight against global warming. Polyurethane is used in many parts such as the automobile industry and housing sector where it is used as thermal insulation material with a high insulation efficiency.

Hanwha Corp. is another major Korean chemical cooperation which has announced to increase its production capacities in Yeosu Industry Complex, Jeollanamdo. The goal is to build another nitric acid plant in Yeosu in order to four-fold the already existing production capacities, from 120,000 tons up to 520,000 tons. Nitric-acid is used for producing semiconductor and display cleaning solutions. Another part of the production capacity will be used to produce dinitrotoluene, a raw material to produce polyurethane. Hanwha aims to finish the construction of the plant by 2023.

Unlike Kumho Mitsui Chemicals and Hanwha Corp., LG Chem has already finished the construction of an additional facility in order to increase the drastically growing demand for carbon nanotubes. The additional facility will increase the output by 1,200 metric tons from originally 500 tons to now 1,700 tons. Carbon nanotubes are a raw material used in the production of electric vehicle batteries.

The continuous increase in investment in Jeollanamdo proves that Jeollanamdo is taking a leading role in South Korea’s fight against global warming and in the search for eco-friendly solutions in industrial productions. Just last month Korea’s steel giant POSCO has announced similar plans to increase its production capacities in Jeollanamdo and to build Korea’s first ever lithium extraction factory.

The Kitchen of Korea gaining popularity in the US online-market

Jeollanamdo’s Amazon Brand Store The Kitchen of Korea has established itself as a popular online store in the US online market. On April 19 the local government announced during an export ceremony that it has already sent its 10th container within 9 month, marking another mile stone since the opening of the specialty brand store The Kitchen of Korea on Amazon US.

The latest container contains 29 agricultural and fishery products from 14 companies from all over Jeollanamdo. In the Jeollanamdo Brand Store red pepper paste, organic shiitake, plum, pear, and citron juice, along with seaweed, abalone and seafood snacks are gaining huge popularity. 

Along with those popular products five new products are shipped for the first time to be newly introduced to the U.S. market, after reviewing the marketability and competitiveness of the products.

As popularity of the brand store The Kitchen of Korea is continuously rising in the US, Jeollanamdo is also focusing on other regions to open similar brand stores, firstly in the European Union.

The Kitchen of Korea

Jeollanamdo is also planing to open Amazon brand stores in the EU by mid 2021. A list of available products and further information on The Kitchen of Korea can be found here.

Moreover, the provincial government is eager to expand its product range in the online market, to establish The Kitchen of Korea further as a distinguished K-FOOD market with high quality organic products. The government keeps looking for more local companies that are willing to export their products to make a wide range of Jeollanamdo’s products available throughout the world.

“If local companies meet Amazon’s food export and sales standards, there will be more opportunities to export them to the U.S. as well as other countries,” said Lee Sang-jin, international cooperation official of Jeollanamdo Provincial Government. “We plan to continue to find small, competitive agricultural and fishery companies and expand their presence on Amazon.”

Korea’s first lithium extraction factory to be build in Jeollanamdo

South Korea’s steel giant POSCO plans to build Korea’s first ever lithium-hydroxide extraction factory in Gwangyang, Jeollanamdo. Lithium-hydroxide (LiOH) is one of the most important components when building battery cathodes for electric vehicles. With the rising demand for batteries because of a rapidly growing EV-market POSCO wants to prepare for the future, in accordance to its own expansions in the EV-production business.
As the lithium price is rising continuously due to the rapid increase in EV-production, South Korea aims to be less reliant on importing Lithium from the global market. So far Korea had to import its lithium from South America, the US and China.

The factory is going to be a joint investment by POSCO and the Australian lithium producer Pilbara Minerals.
Construction of the plant will already start in mid 2021 and the factory will be finished by 2023. By then the new lithium factory will produce around 43,000 tons of lithium per year. With this amount POSCO can directly and locally supply the lithium for up to 1,000,000 electric vehicles batteries. Building on this, POSCO is already planning to further expand the extraction of lithium so that by the end of 2030 over 220,000 tons of lithium can be directly extracted at Jeollanamdo.

Gwangyang in Jeollanamdo was the logical choice for POSCO as it has already been running a demo-factory in Gwangyang and is operating additional factories in the Gwangyang Bay Area. Just earlier this year in February POSCO Chemical has announced the 4th expansion of its battery cathode plant in Gwangyang. Therefore the extracted lithium can be directly processed at Gwangyang.

As one of the most important locations in EV production and research, Jeollanamdo is also hosting the yearly Yeonggwang e-Mobility EXPO in Yeonggwang. For further information click here.