South Korea Korean gov. and Samsung sign MOU to supply recycled sewage as industrial water for semiconductor plant

Korean gov. and Samsung sign MOU to supply recycled sewage as industrial water for semiconductor plant

On November 30, 2022, the South Korean Ministry of Environment announced that it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Samsung Electronics to activate sewage water recycling. Under the MOU, government agencies, local governments, and Samsung Electronics will work together to supply recycled sewage water for industrial use in Samsung Electronics’ semiconductor factories. The company plans to recycle treated water from five sewage treatment facilities in Suwon, Yongin, Giheung, Hwaseong, and Osan cities in South Korea, and supply industrial water to Samsung Electronics’ semiconductor factories, which require about 474,000 tons per day.


The Ministry of Environment explained that the target amount of recycled sewage treated water is about 474,000 tons per day, or 173 million tons per year, and said it will be the largest in South Korea. In addition, it was announced that the roles of each organization have been defined as follows:

Organization Role
Ministry of Environment
  • Construction of a foundation that can supply recycled sewage water to semiconductor plants
  • Increase demand for recycled sewage water
  • R&D investment in advanced water purification production
Gyeonggi Province
  • Support and organize local governments to smoothly supply recycled water
Suwon City, Yongin City, Hwaseong City, Osan City
  • Support for the establishment of facilities for supplying and recycling recycled sewage water
  • Recovery of costs from Samsung Electronics for the supply of recycled water and its use for the revitalization project of the local economy
Pyeongtaek City
  • Install recycled water supply line
Korea Water Resources Corporation
  • Support and operation for commercialization of recycled water and R&D investments in the Ministry of Environment
Korea Environment Corporation
  • Establishment plan and commercialization of recycling facilities
Samsung Electronics
  • Receive recycled water supply and realize ESG
  • R&D investment in advanced water purification (for cleaning semiconductor surfaces) technology development
  • Secure a stable water supply and reduce management risk


According to Samsung Electronics, the company’s semiconductor factory is expected to need twice as much industrial water by 2030. However, the company announced a new environmental management strategy in September 2022, in which it plans to recycle water to maintain water intake at 2021 levels.


Meanwhile, the South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy has announced that it has signed an MOU with SK Hynix and Yeoju City for the creation of an industrial park for semiconductor manufacturing. Until now, SK Hynix was unable to reach an agreement with Yeoju City regarding the water intake to be used for the company’s semiconductor plant, and was unable to proceed with the installation of a water facility. The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy explained that by actively intervening on the issue of supplying water to the SK Hynix semiconductor plant in Yeoju City, tightening regulations on wastewater discharge, and providing support to revitalize the local economy in Yeoju City, it was finally agreed that the establishment of water facilities could proceed.


The government agency press release can be viewed at the following URL:

Author / Responsibility


Senior Research Associate, Research & Consulting Dept. EnviX Ltd.

Business Performance

In charge of South Asia (India, Bangladesh, etc.), South Korea, Latin America (Mexico, Colombia, etc.) and Turkey for managing infomation on the environmental regulations


MA, Environment, Development and Policy, University of Sussex