Deal With Congo
Company to provide support in piped water system and dam management in exchange for minerals
Korea Water Resources Corp. said it has signed a strategic partnership agreement with the Republic of the Congo on June 11 linking the exchange of the provision of water management know-how and minerals in the Congo, K-Water said recently.
Parties to the package deal include George Forrest International Africa (GFI), the largest mining company in the Congo, Alfonso Rowemberg Korea (ARK), an international investment firm, and others on the Congolese side and the City of Ansan, Korea.
The company said the package agreement is to participate in the government strategy for linking the exploration of natural resources with the support in social overhead capital under the name of "Package-type natural resources development project."K-Water will provide its know-how on the construction of dams and piped water systems to the Congo and in return, the company will receive minerals such as cobalt for Korean companies to import.
The market for cobalt is estimated at 300 billion won as the mineral is a key material in the production of hybrid autos, handsets, notebook computers, parts for airplanes and spaceships and high-rise building construction material, among others, which explains why Korean companies have high expectations for the deal.
Meanwhile, in Korea, K-Water has been preparing to draw up measures to prevent damage from water pollution and other environmentally harmful material brought in by typhoons and heavy rains with the rainy season on hand.
Before the rainy season starts, the company checked on the conditions of water and floating trash in the upper regions at 29 dams across the country by June 29 and held a meeting to come up with various measures to prevent it along with scientific management of the situation among the participants.
The company plans to conduct a nationwide campaign to educate the public about the serious nature of floating garbage in rivers and dams through photo exhibitions and publicity materials. The company also plans to set up a cooperative system involving military troops stationed in remote areas and related organizations to create preventive measures.
K-Water has been engaged in expanding the floating material collection systems in 19 locations across the country at a cost of 2.5 billion won and an automatic monitoring system for floating garbage to upgrade the system to control floating material and polluted water at a cost of 1.2 billion won.
K-Water plans to upgrade the current second dimension forecast system for the watch and pursuance of the development of polluted water and movements to the third dimension system by introducing an advanced polluted water and floating material control system.
In the meantime, the government plans to invest a total of 619 billion won in the Soyang Dam and the Imha Dam between now and 2015 in measures against pollution and floating material near the dams. K-Water, too, will set aside 96.9 billion won to improve the gauge for water released from the Soyang Dam as part of its participation in the government's joint measures to reduce the pollution at dams.
Manager Yom Kyung-taik of K-Water Dam and Upper Area Management Office, said efforts now are directed toward improving the quality of water, rather than the quantity, in evaluating the value of water resources. Presently, K-Water has gotten away from monitoring lakes and moved on to controlling the upper areas of dams to upgrade the quality of water secured by dams. nw