Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun (3rd from right) looks at a model of a hydrogen plant at SK Incheon Petrochem with SK Chairman Chey Tae-won (2nd from right) and Hyundai Motor’s Chairman Chung Euisun (4th from right). [Photo by Han Joo-hyung]
South Korea’s state-backed concerted hydrogen drive picked up speed, with five business groups Hyundai Motor, SK Group, Posco, Hanwha, and Hyosung uniting to pool 43 trillion won ($38.3 billion) to establish the infrastructure on the fuel cell economy by 2030.
The five major business groups in Korea announced plans to jointly spend 43 trillion won on hydrogen sourcing, storage and transport by 2030 in a bid take a global lead in bringing the world renewable energy solutions as well as achieving state-set carbon neutrality goal.
SK Group, which has natural gas unit SK C&S under its wing, will inject 18.5 trillion won over the next five years in a two-phase plan to build the world’s largest liquefied hydrogen plant with an annual capacity of 30,000 tons and a more environment-friendly hydrogen production plant with an annual capacity of 250,000 tons of so-called blue and green hydrogen that generate little or no carbon emissions, the group said on Tuesday.
South Korea’s Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun (center), SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won (left) and Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Eui-sun pose for a photo during the 3rd meeting of the hydrogen economy committee in Incheon on Mar. 2, 2021. [Photo by Han Joo-hyung]
Through the investment, SK aims to claim leadership in the hydrogen power markets in Asia as well as across the globe.
Hyundai Motor Group plans to invest 11.1 trillion won in the research and development projects of hydrogen cars and establishing hydrogen refueling stations, while Posco will spend 10 trillion won to speed up replacing coal with hydrogen in steel production.
Hanwha Group will inject 1.3 trillion won in creating a green hydrogen ecosystem, Hyosung Group 1.2 trillion won in establishing liquefied hydrogen plants and installing more charging stations.
The business investments are in line with the Korean government`s hydrogen economy initiative to replace traditional fuel with green sources.
The government pledged 824.4 billion won this year, up 40 percent from a year ago, to support corporate efforts to nurture a hydrogen energy ecosystem. In its efforts to expand the supply of hydrogen fuel cells, the government will introduce Hydrogen Portfolio Standard in the first half to enforce utilities firms to generate more power using hydrogen fuel cell.
By Seo Jin-woo, Choi Keun-do, Oh Chan-jong and Lee Soo-min
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