Supported by a strong political commitment, implemented through its “Hydrogen Economy Roadmap”, South Korea is a frontrunner in the shift towards a low-carbon hydrogen economy and clean mobility. Using industrial demand as an anchor, and leveraging its mastery of the full hydrogen value chain, Air Liquide is actively contributing to the fast development of low-carbon hydrogen production in South Korea, partnering with local industrial and institutional players. Thanks to a solid integrated infrastructure in the country, the Group is committed to the expansion of its footprint to most of the regions.
In the area of hydrogen mobility, the South Korean government intends to make the country a leading actor. To support the country’s ambition, Air Liquide is willing to invest across the entire hydrogen supply chain, from production to storage, as well as distribution and application developments for end users.
On the upstream side, Air Liquide is consolidating its position as a hydrogen technology expert to serve clean mobility and industry by initiating numerous projects with major industrial companies. Air Liquide has recently signed an agreement with SK E&S, a global clean energy and solutions provider, to supply the world’s largest hydrogen liquefaction plant with a capacity of 90 tonnes per day of liquid hydrogen to serve the mobility markets. Air Liquide and LOTTE Chemical have also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to co-invest in new high-pressure hydrogen filling centers and hydrogen refueling stations. The Group has signed another MoU with Yeosu city and Jeollanam-do province, to study further projects with contemplated investments comprising a hydrogen liquefaction plant. When confirmed, these projects will extend Air Liquide's existing presence with regards to hydrogen in South Korea, where it already owns and operates four large plants.
On the downstream side, Air Liquide, which is among the leaders in the hydrogen mobility market, relies on its industrial infrastructure to deploy solutions, partnering with logistics players and municipalities and stepping up its activities in various regions. The Group has been designing hydrogen stations for over 20 years, and has supplied to date a total of 8 hydrogen refueling stations in South Korea with more to be commissioned soon. In South Korea, the number of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles has more than doubled last year to reach 15,200. Air Liquide Korea is also helping to develop the hydrogen ecosystem further through its participation in the two Korean hydrogen mobility consortiums, HyNet and KOHYGEN, respectively dedicated to the deployment of light-duty and heavy-duty hydrogen stations. Air Liquide is the only industrial gas company participating in both consortiums.
Matthieu Giard, Member of the Air Liquide Group’s Executive Committee supervising Hydrogen activities and the Industrial Merchant business line, said:
“Climate change mitigation and energy transition are at the heart of Air Liquide’s strategy. The Group’s strategy in South Korea illustrates our ambition to be a leader for the supply of low-carbon hydrogen to industry and mobility markets, relying in particular on its leadership in hydrogen liquefaction and operational expertise. South Korea is one of the most active countries in the world for hydrogen activities, backed up with a strong national ambition. Air Liquide is proud to support the country’s mobilization towards a low carbon society.”
Air Liquide in South Korea
Air Liquide has been present in South Korea since 1996, and employs today more than 400 persons. On top of providing industrial gases and related services to major industries (petrochemical, steel, semiconductors, car manufacturing, etc.), it also has a strong presence in Home Healthcare activities. It is also one of the founders and key contributors to the development of the hydrogen economy in Korea, as shown by its participation in HyNet, a special purpose company created in 2019 to install 100 hydrogen refueling stations by 2022 and in KOHYGEN (Korea Hydrogen Green Energy Network), a special-purpose company established to accelerate fuel cell heavy-duty vehicle market deployment in South Korea.
Air Liquide's commitment to hydrogen
In full support of the 2015 Paris agreement, Air Liquide’s commitments address the urgency of climate change and energy transition, targeting carbon neutrality by 2050. As a pioneer in hydrogen, the Group is convinced that hydrogen is a cornerstone of the energy transition. In the past 50 years, the Group has developed unique expertise enabling it to master the entire supply chain, from production and storage to distribution, contributing to the widespread use of hydrogen as a clean energy carrier for a wide range of applications such as industrial usages and clean mobility. Air Liquide is committed to reaching several goals, investing approximately 8 billion Euro in the low-carbon hydrogen full value chain by 2035, and a total of 3 GW electrolysis capacity by 2030.