SEOUL — South Korean conglomerate SK Group will build a hydrogen production complex in Ulsan, the manufacturing base for Hyundai Motor, looking to transform the city into a supply center for the green fuel.
Group company SK Gas leads the project, which will spend 2.2 trillion won ($1.97 billion) over five years. SK also plans to install 100 hydrogen fueling stations around South Korea by the end of the decade.
SK and Lotte Chemical intend to establish a joint venture later this year as part of the project. Their new company will be devoted to hydrogen technology with the goal of expanding adoption of the fuel.
The 140,000-sq.-meter hydrogen base will contain production facilities, storage units and transport infrastructure. A terminal will be constructed that accepts ships carrying liquefied natural gas, providing the hydrogen that later will be liquefied.
The hydrogen extraction process involves reactions of natural gas with high-temperature and high-pressure water vapors. The carbon dioxide is removed and stored, leaving behind the eco-friendly “blue hydrogen.”
Ulsan is South Korea’s biggest manufacturing nerve center. Not only does Hyundai operate several plants in the city, SK Innovation runs a giant refining and petrochemical plant there, which produces hydrogen as a byproduct.