Korea to up hydrogen consumption over 15-fold to 3.9 mn tons in decade

2021.10.08 08:22:38 | 2021.10.08 08:23:13

[Photo by Lee Chung-woo]이미지 확대

[Photo by Lee Chung-woo]

South Korea aims to boost the country’s hydrogen consumption more than 15-fold to 3.9 million tons in a decade as it has set clean hydrogen as the country’s mainstay energy source, and Hyundai Motor Group will aid the government to achieve the goal with a $1 billion investment to build fuel-cell stack plants.

The new vision was unveiled Wednesday by the government in a briefing to President Moon Jae-in and business leaders on the sidelines of a groundbreaking ceremony for Hyundai Mobis` hydrogen fuel cell plant in Incheon, west of Seoul.

Korea’s new hydrogen consumption target of 3.9 million tons by 2030 is twice as much as its previous target announced in January 2019 under its hydrogen economy initiative and about 18 times higher than this year`s estimated 220,000 tons.

To achieve the goal, Korea will sharply increase the portion of clean hydrogen made from ammonia to 50 percent of the country`s hydrogen consumption in 2030 and 100 percent in 2050, by when the country aims to achieve carbon neutrality. The government’s 2050 target of hydrogen consumption is 27 million tons, up by over 120 times from this year’s estimated 220,000 tons.

A Image of Hyundai Mobis이미지 확대

A Image of Hyundai Mobis" fuel cell system factory in Cheongna, Incheon. [Photo by Hyundai Mobis]

Hyundai Mobis, the auto parts unit of Hyundai Motor Group, vowed to invest 1.3 trillion won ($1.09 billion) on the same day to build new fuel-cell stack plants in Incheon and Ulsan.

A fuel-cell stack, essential in producing electricity from oxygen and hydrogen, is used to power fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEV) from Hyundai Motor and Kia.

The Incheon and Ulsan plants to be up and running from the second half of 2023 will produce 100,000 fuel-cell systems per year, adding to 23,000 from Hyundai Mobis` Chungju plant, which has been in operation since 2018.

[Photo by Lee Chung-woo]이미지 확대

[Photo by Lee Chung-woo]

Hyundai Mobis decided to make such a massive investment despite business uncertainty caused by the pandemic as part of efforts to stay ahead of its rivals in the fuel-cell system sector, according to the company’s chief executive Cho Sung-hwan.

The groundbreaking ceremony was also attended by Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Euisun, SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won, Posco Group CEO Choi Jeong-woo and Hyosung Group Vice Chairman Cho Hyun-sang and other leaders from the founding member companies of Korea H2 Business Summit launched in September to boost the hydrogen industry.

By Seo Jin-woo and Minu Kim

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