Hanwha Energy to build new type of plant

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Hanwha Energy to build new type of plant

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A computer image of Hanwha Energy’s fuel cell power plant in Seosan, South Chungcheong. [HANWHA ENERGY]

Hanwha Energy started construction of a massive fuel cell power plant that will produce energy from hydrogen produced as a byproduct of petrochemical plants, the company said Thursday.

The company said in a statement that it is the world’s first large-scale fuel cell plant that uses such hydrogen.

The plant, built on 20,000 square meters (5 acres) of land in Seosan, South Chungcheong, will begin commercial operations in June 2020 and produce 400,000 megawatt-hours of energy, enough to power roughly 170,000 households in South Chungcheong.

About 255 billion won ($225 million) was invested in the project in total. Hanwha Energy, Korea East-West Power, Doosan and SK Securities set up a joint venture for the project in January dubbed Daesan Green Energy. Hanwha has a 49 percent stake in the joint venture, while Korea East-West Power has a 35 percent stake, Doosan 10 percent and SK Securities 6 percent.

The fuel cell plant is considered eco-friendly since neither nitrogen oxides nor sulfur oxides are emitted during the power generation process, according to Hanwha.

“We will make this facility a stepping stone to entering a new renewable energy businesses,” said Ryoo Du-hyoung, CEO of Hanwha Energy, which has been focused on solar energy.

Doosan is supplying the fuel cells used in the plant. The company said it developed cells that can generate power using hydrogen last year in cooperation with 46 local partner companies.

“Development of fuel cell power plants using hydrogen is still in its early stages but this project will let Korea take a technological lead in the global market,” a spokesperson from Doosan said. “Many countries including China and India are interested in developing such power plants using hydrogen.”


BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]

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