Lotte Chemical to invest ￦4.4 trillion on hydrogen business
Lotte Chemical will spend 4.4 trillion won ($3.8 billion) on hydrogen-related businesses by 2030, the company announced Tuesday.
By the end of that 10-year investment, the chemical arm of Lotte Group hopes to supply 30 percent of Korea's hydrogen, generating 3 trillion won in annual revenue and achieve 10 percent of its operating profit from the hydrogen business.
On Tuesday, Lotte Chemical announced its 10-year hydrogen business roadmap dubbed “Every Step for H2,” part of an execution plan for the company's announcement earlier this year to realize carbon neutrality by 2040.
One of Korea's local leaders in chemicals, Lotte Chemical is the latest company to pinpoint hydrogen as a future growth engine. In terms of hydrogen production, companies in these fields have an advantage because hydrogen is a natural byproduct in their factories.
Lotte's Tuesday plan has three specific projects: Producing hydrogen, distributing it and developing hydrogen-related technology.
The company aims to produce about 600,000 tons of hydrogen by 2030, among which 440,000 tons will be green hydrogen and the remainder will be blue hydrogen. Both hydrogen types use eco-friendly methods as opposed to so-called gray or brown hydrogen methods that use combustible fuel.
Green hydrogen is produced from electricity generated by solar or wind power. Blue hydrogen, on the other hand, is produced using combustible fuel, but using technology that captures the carbon dioxide emitted in the process.
The company will also be involved in taking the produced hydrogen and developing businesses that use it as an energy source. This includes plans to operate a hydrogen-powered electricity plant in Ulsan from 2024 and building 200 hydrogen charging stations nationwide by 2030. Lotte Chemical will also install power generators and turbines at its factories that could make electricity out of hydrogen.
In terms of R&D investment, the company plans to develop technology to mass produce hydrogen storage tanks. The goal is to have 500,000 hydrogen tanks by 2030 that could be used to supply hydrogen to vehicles. The company also plans to invest in carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technology, which can trap carbon dioxide naturally produced in its petrochemical factories.
"As a preemptive investment, the company will push hard to prepare infrastructure for hydrogen businesses,” said Hwang Jin-koo, president of Lotte Chemical’s Basic Material Business.
“When the era of green hydrogen arrives, we will supply the green hydrogen to every sector in need so that people can make their eco-friendly consumption without concerning about carbon emissions.”
BY SARAH CHEA [firstname.lastname@example.org]