Busan, South Korea’s second-most populous city after Seoul, is to utilize a desalination facility as a research hub to test new desalination solutions and technologies, reports Aju Business Daily.
The port city’s desalination plant, which is also the largest facility in the country, has been essentially inactive since 2016 because of citizen protests.
Situated in Gijang, a town by the sea near Busan, the reverse osmosis desalination plant was inaugurated in 2014. South Korea had spent a total of $82.9 million on the project and the plant produced 45,000 tons of tap water daily. Only two years later, the desalination plant was shut down due to residents from Gijang affirmed that seawater could have been contaminated by a nearby nuclear power complex.
Two years ago, in 2019, Busan had come up with a plan to use the desalination plant to produce industrial water. Nevertheless, the plan fell through as factories and industries said it was cheaper and more comfortable to use existing water pipelines instead of depending on the desalination plant.
The southern city of Busan released a statement on Friday that it had signed an agreement with the Ministry of Environment and K-Water (Korea Water Resources Corporation), a governmental agency for comprehensive water resource development, to use parts of the facility as a demonstration center to research, develop and test new desalination technologies. Testing will be made to improve the water quality of the Nakdong River, for example.