Kogas will invest $4B in hydrogen infrastructure

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Kogas will invest $4B in hydrogen infrastructure

The Korea Gas Corporation (Kogas) will invest 4.7 trillion won ($4.06 billion) in building hydrogen-producing facilities by 2030 as part of government plan to build a so-called hydrogen economy, where hydrogen becomes the main energy source for vehicles and other things.

According to the state-run gas corporation’s roadmap for its hydrogen business released Sunday, 25 hydrogen-producing facilities will be established by 2030 along with 700 kilometers (435 miles) of hydrogen pipeline to transport the gas.

The gas provider said it will utilize existing distribution centers and pipeline networks in the country to supply natural gas for the new hydrogen infrastructure. There are roughly 4,854 kilometers of pipeline and 403 distribution centers to supply natural gas.

The agency plans to build nine hydrogen-producing facilities by 2022 in major cities including in greater Seoul area. Other facilities will be added gradually by 2030.

The gas supplier is expecting to supply 1.73 million tons of hydrogen gas annually by 2030 and then roughly 3.45 million tons annually by 2040. The gas supplier said the hydrogen will be enough to cover over 60 percent of the country’s demand.

Kogas also has plans to import hydrogen from other countries to make the gas more affordable.

Currently a kilogram of hydrogen costs between 6,500 to 7,500 won. For a 100 kilometer drive, a fuel-cell vehicle consumes about 2 kilograms of hydrogen.

The gas supplier plans to lower hydrogen prices to 4,500 won per kilogram by 2030 and to 3,000 won per kilogram through imports and increased local output.

“In overseas markets, hydrogen is much cheaper, at 1,000 won per kilogram, but we have to consider the transport fee,” a spokesperson for Kogas said. “To achieve the economies of scale, we need to import more than 300,000 tons of hydrogen.”

Kogas plans to import 300,000 tons of hydrogen gas annually by 2030 and 1.2 million tons annually by 2040.

BY KIM JEE-HEE, SUH YOU-JIN [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]
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