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Civic group protesters hold a press conference to call for Kepco to scrap Vung Ang 2 coal power plant project at Kepco‘s office in Seocho-gu, southern Seoul, on Monday. (Yonhap)

Korea Power Corp. on Monday held a board meeting and decided to proceed with the Vung Ang 2 coal power plant project in Vietnam, according to the company.

The South Korean state-run utility will build two 600-megawatt coal power plants in Ha Tinh Province, Vietnam. The total cost is $2.2 billion and Kepco will invest 220 billion won ($189 million) to acquire a 40 percent stake in the project from China Light & Power.

Samsung C&T and Doosan Heavy Industries will be in charge of engineering, procurement and construction of the two coal power plants.

Kepco’s approval came amid a global pressure from environmental and investment groups calling for the company to halt the project.

“South Korean President Moon Jae-in and the ruling party are pursuing a Green New Deal initiative at home but are investing in coal power plants abroad. Above all, Kepco is expected to suffer a loss of $79 million if it pushes forward the Vung Ang 2 project according to a pre-feasibility study conducted by Korea Development Institute,” a Solutions for Our Climate official said.

The world’s top asset manager BlackRock said in its report in April that it had “contacted the CEO seeking a clear strategic rationale for its investments in coal energy,” without naming the company.

Norway’s largest pension company KLP and Denmark’s MP Pension have also asked Samsung C&T to withdraw from the project.