[Eye Plus] Keeping coal factory embers alive

By Yoon Min-sik

Published : Nov 24, 2017 - 16:53
Updated : Nov 24, 2017 - 16:53

Coal briquettes have been one of the symbols of Korea’s rapid economic growth from 1960s to 1980s, providing heat and energy for the households hard at work to build an affluent economy.

With development of energy sources and housing, however, briquettes are in less demand than ever.

Around 19 briquette factories were in operation in Seoul alone in the 1990s, but now there are only two.

“There are still about 200,000 households using briquettes to get through the winter, but the industry is hanging by a thread,” said an official from a briquette factory of Gomyeong Industrial in Geumcheon-gu, Seoul.

The company’s 30 workers make around 300,000 briquettes each day, which is only a fraction of what they used to make. They say that production has surged in recent days due to the sudden fall in temperatures.

The workers, most of whom boast around four decades of experience, work all day producing the briquettes that are 14 centimeters high, 15 centimeters wide in diameter and weigh 3.65 kilograms.

Working the night away, workers at the factory fear that the briquette industry may fade into the realm of nostalgia soon. 

(Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)

(Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)

(Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)

(Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)

(Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)

(Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)

(Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)

(Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)



(minsikyoon@heraldcorp.com)

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The Korea Herald by Herald Corporation