SK E&S and SK Plug Hyverse Partner With Korea South-East Power for Green Hydrogen and Green Ammonia Production

By August 19, 2022 5   min read  (827 words)

August 19, 2022 |

Plug Power SK Group 2
  • SK E&S-SK Plug Hyverse-South-East Power signed an MOU for ‘Cooperation for production of green hydrogen and ammonia at home and abroad’.
  • SK Plug Hyverse plans to apply PEM electrolyzers to be locally manufactured in Korea.

SK E&S and SK Plug Hyverse will work with Korea Southeast Power Generation (KOEN) to cooperate with green hydrogen and green ammonia projects based on renewable energy resources at home and abroad.

SK E&S stated on the 18th that it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with SK Plug Hyverse and KOEN regarding cooperation for carbon neutrality and the production of green hydrogen and green ammonia which will be consumed for co-firing at KOEN’s natural gas and coal based thermal power plants, by using electrolyzers to be produced in Korea by SK Plug Hyverse. Green hydrogen and green ammonia co-firing is gaining attention as an eco-friendly and relatively low cost solutions for existing thermal power plants that can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

SK Plug Hyverse is a joint venture (JV) formed in January of this year by SK E&S and Plug Power (hereafter “Plug”, NASDAQ: PLUG), a leading provider of turnkey hydrogen solutions for the global green hydrogen economy, to pursue integrated solution businesses throughout the clean hydrogen value chain in Asia, including electolyzers. An electrolyzer uses water (H2O) to generate ‘green hydrogen (H2),’ which does not emit carbon during manufacture and combustion, and ‘green ammonia (NH3) synthesized with nitrogen (N). The company plans to build a ‘Giga-factory’ in Incheon, a hydrogen manufacturing facility and research center.

According to the company, the significance of this MOU lies in the fact that SK Plug Hyverse, which is collaborating with Plug, a global hydrogen company, and Korea South-East Power, a public power company that accounts for approximately 10% of the total electricity supply in Korea, have joined forces in the green hydrogen and ammonia business, which is garnering attention as one of the future’s most important energy sources.

PEM electrolyzers that SK Plug Hyverse plans to supply is the only commercially proven technology with a quicker start-up time than the alkaline electrolyzers and superior load response capability, which enables it to work more effectively with the intermittently produced renewable energy to produce green hydrogen. In addition, PEM electrolyzers are known for high energy density and moderate cost of maintenance.

Based on 40 years of experience in PEM electrolyzer technologies and track records of supplying to NASA and US Navy, Plug is the leader in the global PEM electrolyzer markets. Recent announcements of supply agreements include 1GW in Denmark, 250MW in Australia and 120MW in the US. Plug is also targeting to produce 180,000 tones of green hydrogen annually themselves in the US by using its own PEM electrolyzers (which usually requires 1GW or more electrolyzer capacity)

South-East Power plans to complete the construction of a carbon-neutral ecosystem by establishing a green hydrogen and ammonia power production business. South-East Power Co is pursuing the objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 48% by 2034 through expanding low-carbon LNG conversion and developing CCUS technology.

This MOU is expected to serve as a cornerstone for the global trade era of clean hydrogen. According to the ‘First Basic Plan for the Implementation of the Hydrogen Economy’ released by the government last year, the supply of hydrogen is expected to increase from 220,000 tons in 2020 to 3.9 million tons in 2030 and 27.9 million tons in 2050 as the demand for hydrogen cars and fuel cells increases. To meet the exploding domestic demand for hydrogen and expand the use of clean hydrogen, in addition to locally produced blue hydrogen, green hydrogen to be produced at locations with abundant and competitive renewable energy resources and be synthesized it into green ammonia or converted to liquid hydrogen, which are advantageous for large-scale long-distance transportation, and brought into Korea is being considered.

Ji Young Lee, CEO of SK Plug Hyverse and Head of Global Hydrogen Business of SK E&S, stated that “We are thrilled to join forces with KOEN for endeavors to lead the transition of Korea into a carbon-neutral era. We are proactively developing opportunities throughout the clean hydrogen value chain to help building a competitive hydrogen portfolio for Korea and establishing a world leading clean hydrogen ecosystem in the country”

Sang-pyo Eun, vice president and head of South-East Power’s new business division, stated, “Utilization of hydrogen and ammonia is crucial for achieving national carbon neutrality and delaying the stranded capitalization of thermal power producing facilities. Given the local production capability of hydrogen and ammonia, it is vital to establish a hydrogen and ammonia supply chain from abroad. Using this MOU as an opportunity, we will reliably generate hydrogen and ammonia overseas with SK E&S, a leading firm in the hydrogen economy, and introduce it into Korea to become an energy company leading the national carbon neutrality and the hydrogen economy.”

Source: SK E&S

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