S. Korea kick-starts program to transform old factories into carbon-neutral smart facilities

By Park Sae-jin Posted : July 5, 2021, 09:45 Updated : July 5, 2021, 09:45

[Gettyimages Bank]

SEOUL -- South Korea has kick-started a support program to turn old factories into carbon-neutral smart factories. The government will provide subsidies of up to 200 million won ($176,000) so that factory owners can upgrade outdated facilities to more energy-efficient and intelligent equipment that will emit zero or a minimum amount of greenhouse gases.

South Korea has stepped up efforts to boost the popularization of smart factories. Previously, the Ministry of SMEs and Startups has launched a campaign to convert some 300,000 old manufacturing facilities into smart factories by 2022. Companies that adopted a smart factory system saw an average of 28.5 percent increase in work efficiency and 15.5 percent decrease in production costs.

Under a new program, companies in six categories such as welding, casting, plastic working, heat treating, fabric, and automobile manufacturing would receive subsidies, the ministry said in a statement on July 5.

"We will nurture carbon-neutral smart factories as one of the axis of the sustainable economy by upgrading the manufacturing and management processes," a startup ministry official was quoted as saying. Along with subsidies, the ministry will provide services such as the evaluation of facilities and consulting.
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