Garorim Bay Tidal Power Plant Project is a planned tidal power plant in Garorim Bay, on the west coast of South Korea. The project is developed by Korea Western Power Company Limited and was in the process of receiving government approval as of November 2008.

Garorim Bay Tidal Power Plant Project is located between Seosan City and Taean County of Chungnam Province, South Korea, at the western seashore of South Korea. The electric power generation capacity of the plant will be 520 megawatt-hours per day (26 MW·h * 20 sets). This is more than twice the capacity of the Rance Power Plant in France, which is the biggest tidal power plant in the world as of 2007.

According to an announcement made by the power company, construction cost was estimated to be 1 trillion Korean won (1 billion US dollars) as of 2005.

Environmental impact

Garorim Bay Tidal Power Plant Project is regarded as one of the important tidal flats in South Korea. The Korean government included this bay in the National Wetland Inventory. The Yellow Sea Large Marine Ecosystem (YSLME) Project, managed by the United Nations Development Programme and the Global Environment Facility, also surveyed the ecology of this bay.

According to a survey on fishery resources in 1981, supported by the Korean Ocean Research and Development Institute, this bay is an important spawning ground for many species of fish. The study predicted that the plant's construction would cause critical damage to the bay's ecology.

The bay is one of the most important fish farming sites in Korea, composed of about 2000 fishery households.

Response of local fishermen

On 20 August 2007, the power company tried to hold a Hearing from Residents, an official proceeding required by the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). But about 1000 fishermen, demanding cancellation of the entire project, prevented the hearing from being held so the EIA requirement would not be met.

Relation to renewable energy strategy

Garorim Bay Tidal Power Plant Project is now being included in the South Korean government's renewable energy strategy. The Korean government classifies tidal power as renewable, and the Garorim Bay Project is included in the renewable energy plan which the government announced in September 2008.

The Korean Federation for Environmental Movement (Friends of the Earth Korea) has criticized the project, arguing that the power plant is contrary to the purpose of renewable energy, because it would destroy the valuable tidal flats in the area, thus accelerating global warming.