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SK, Lotte, Air Liquide to establish joint venture for hydrogen business

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SK Gas CEO Yoon Byung-suk, center, poses with Lotte Chemical President Hwang Jin-goo, left, and Air Liquide Korea President Nicolas Foirien, after signing an agreement to establish a joint venture for hydrogen business at Lotte World Tower in Seoul, Thursday. Courtesy of SK Gas
SK Gas CEO Yoon Byung-suk, center, poses with Lotte Chemical President Hwang Jin-goo, left, and Air Liquide Korea President Nicolas Foirien, after signing an agreement to establish a joint venture for hydrogen business at Lotte World Tower in Seoul, Thursday. Courtesy of SK Gas

By Park Jae-hyuk

SK Gas, Lotte Chemical and Air Liquide Korea agreed on Thursday to establish a joint venture for power generation with by-product hydrogen and hydrogen-powered transportation.

The agreement came after they signed a memorandum of understanding last May.

Both SK Gas and Lotte Chemical will hold a 45 percent stake in the joint venture, respectively, while Air Liquide Korea will hold a 10 percent share.

The two Korean conglomerates will jointly manage the new company.

They plan to start the operation of the joint venture in the third quarter of this year, once they receive approval from the Fair Trade Commission.

The joint venture's first project will be the construction of a hydrogen fuel-cell power plant in Ulsan, where SK Gas and Lotte Chemical can secure by-product hydrogen.

The plant will generate 500,000 MWh of electricity annually ― an amount that can be used by 120,000 four-person households for a year.

In addition, the joint venture plans to establish hydrogen fueling stations nationwide.

"We hope that this joint venture will serve as a stepping-stone for vitalizing the hydrogen economy in Korea and contribute to Korea's transition to a hydrogen economy in the future," SK Gas CEO Yoon Byung-suk said. "SK Gas will also make efforts to contribute to Korea's transition into a hydrogen economy by mobilizing its capabilities related to the hydrogen business that has been prepared so far."

Hwang Jin-goo, president of Lotte Chemical's basic materials business, said that it was very meaningful to converge each company's core capabilities to form the foundation of the early-stage hydrogen ecosystem.

Air Liquide Korea President Nicolas Foirien said his company is pleased to cooperate with Lotte Chemical and SK Gas and expects the partnership to contribute greatly to the sustainable development of Korea's hydrogen economy.

"It is also in line with the Air Liquide Group's climate strategy to contribute to sustainable development for the future," he added.


Park Jae-hyuk pjh@koreatimes.co.kr


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