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South Korea aims to commercialize hydrogen import/export business over 2028-2030

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South Korea aims to commercialize hydrogen import/export business over 2028-2030

  • Author
  • Clement Choo
  • Editor
  • Geetha Narayanasamy
  • Commodity
  • Electric Power Energy Transition
  • Topic
  • Energy Transition Environment and Sustainability

South Korea aims to commercialize its hydrogen import and export business over 2028-2030, including building an overseas production base and a domestic terminal, Nak-Hyun Kwon, director of the business coordination department at H2KOREA, said Nov. 17.

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Speaking at The Australian Hydrogen Conference held online, Kwon said a feasibility study on the commercialization plan will be conducted over 2020-2021, looking at carbon dioxide-free hydrogen imports after considering technological, economic and environmental factors of several countries.

The countries include Australia, Canada, China, Indonesia, the EU and the UAE, among others, said the director of H2KOREA, a private government body launched in 2017 to build its hydrogen economy.

After the feasibility study is concluded, a second phase called the joint demonstration stage will take place over 2022-2027, where private companies will take the lead to develop the technology needed for commercialization, which include sourcing for hydrogen, storage, transportation and infrastructure such as pipelines and trailers.

Speaking of transportation, South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries Group and Hyundai Glovis, a unit of Hyundai Motor Group, received approval late October to build a 20,000 cu m liquefied hydrogen carrier for commercial use.

Hyundai Heavy units Korea Shipbuilding and Offshore Engineering and Hyundai Mipo Dockyard will build the 20,000 cu m liquefied hydrogen carrier with Hyundai Glovis.

Prior to the start of the feasibility study at the end of 2020, South Korea aims to increase the local production capacity of hydrogen to 470,000 mt/year by 2022 from 130,000 mt/year in 2018, and up to 1.94 million mt/year in 2030.

Also by 2030, South Korea is expected to have at least six hydrogen production plants across the country and 660 hydrogen refuelling stations from 52 stations as of June 2020.

South Korea will build its first hydrogen liquefaction plant at Changwon, Gyeongnam province, by 2022 with a production capacity of 5,000 kg/day, and start commercial operations in 2023. Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction will build the plant that will supply liquefied hydrogen to hydrogen charging stations nationwide.

In addition to Changwon, hydrogen plants are expected at Dangjin, Incheon, Samcheok, Ulsan and Yeosu.

To build its hydrogen economy, South Korea aims to raise its hydrogen-related budget to Won 797.7 billion in 2021 from Won 587.9 billion ($512.74 million) in 2020.