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Volatile Organic Compound Technologies in Korea
In recent years, Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) and offensive odors have emerged as new sources of air pollution and have become an increasingly serious annoyance to residents living near major industrial complexes throughout Korea. To resolve the problem, the ROKG implemented in July 1997 VOC regulations for the first time ever. As provided in the regulations, beginning in 2000, primary industries that generate VOC’s, such as oil refineries, petrochemical facilities and wastewater treatment plants, will face restrictions on their manufacturing facilities. Other than incineration, there is almost no local technology available for VOC control. Therefore, Korea is in dire need of related technology, services and equipment, and therein lies good sales potential for U.S. environmental exporters.

In recent years, the generation of Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) has steadily increased in Korea. At present, VOC emission standards have been in effect since July 1997 in Yochon, Ulsan and Onsan Industrial Complexes, which were designated as “Areas for Special Air Pollution Countermeasures” by the Ministry of Environment (MOE) in 1986. These industrial complexes started operations in the 1960’s as petrochemical industrial complexes. New VOC regulations, however, now require oil refining factories and manufacturing facilities for petrochemicals to install facilities to control and prevent the discharge of VOCs no later than by the end of this year.

Under additional measures to reduce air pollution through better control of VOCs, in July 1997, MOE designated Seoul, Inchon and another 15 cities in Kyonggi province as “Areas for Special Air Pollution Countermeasures”. In December 1997, the Air Preservation Act was revised to tighten the range of raid steam pressure from VOC above 27.6 kps (Kilo Pascal) to 10.3 kps. Facilities in the above designated cities, such as oil storage facilities and oil refineries which discharge VOC that have vapor pressure above 10.3 kps, must install emission control and preventive facilities by 2000.

Industry experts estimate that annual market demand for VOC control equipment in Korea to be about USD 1.1 billion. Traditionally, incineration has been used to control VOCs in Korea, which then created a secondary air pollution source. Other than incineration, there is almost no local technology available for VOC control. Therefore, Korea is in dire need of related technology, services and equipment, and therein, lies good sales opportunities for U.S. environmental exporters.

CS Korea advises U.S. environmental firms interested in the Korean market to utilize the programs and services of the Commercial Service Korea/U.S.-Asia Environmental Partnership (U.S.-AEP)/Korea to identify and research potential opportunities. The following contacts may be useful to U.S. companies in obtaining further information and other necessary assistance:

Mr. LEE Chi-Sun, Director
Rm. 404, Leema Bldg., 146-1 Soosong-Dong
Chongro-Ku, Seoul 110-140, Korea
Phone: 82-2-734-6558/737-5492
Fax: 82-2-734-6559
E-Mail: chi.sun.lee@mail.doc.gov

Ms. CHUNG Eun-He, Deputy Director
Air Quality Management Bureau
Ministry of Environment
1 Choongang-Dong, Kwacheon City,
Kyungki-Do, Korea
Phone: 82-2-500-4282/3
Fax: 82-2-504-9208

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