Last year Hyosung Chairman Cho Hyun-joon made a large-scale investment in carbon fiber. This time he started another ambitious hydrogen economy project to build the world’s largest liquid hydrogen plant.
Hyosung (KRX:004800) and the Linde Group, a leading global provider of industrial gases, will invest 300 billion won until 2022 in their joint enterprise of creating a value chain that covers everything about the setup and operation of liquid hydrogen production, transport and recharging facilities. Hyosung and Linde signed an MOU at the Hyosung headquarters in Mapo, Seoul on April 28, with Chairman Cho and Linde Korea Chairman Sung Baek-seok attending.
Both companies will invest in the construction of a liquid hydrogen plant on an area of about 30,000 square meters within the site of Hyosung Yongyeon plant in Ulsan. Its annual capacity of production is 13,000 tons of liquid hydrogen, enough to fuel 100,000 sedans. It will be the world’s single largest liquid hydrogen manufacturing facility. The two companies will form a joint venture this year, break ground in the first quarter of next year and complete the liquid hydrogen plant in 2022.
The new plant will produce liquid hydrogen by applying Linde’s hydrogen liquefaction technology and system to byproduct hydrogen produced by Hyosung Chemical Yongyeon Plant. Hydrogen liquefaction technology liquefies hydrogen in a high-pressure state of the gas. Linde has the world’s most advanced technology in liquid hydrogen production.
Liquid hydrogen is usable in so diverse mobility segments such as drones, vessels and forklifts as well as cars that it will likely contribute to the development of related industries.
Both companies will invest in the development of a liquid-hydrogen recharging infrastructure in time for the completion of the plant. Under their accord on the cooperative partnership on liquid hydrogen supply, they will set up about 120 hydrogen recharging stations — 50 new and 70 enlarged stations to fuel liquid hydrogen — in key points across the country.
“Hydrogen is an eco-friendly energy source that can change existing carbon-centered economic structure. Its possibilities are endless,” Chairman Cho Hyun-joon said, “The point of liquid hydrogen business sought by Hyosung is to store and transport hydrogen efficiently and safely. Investment this time will play a big role in invigorating the ecology of domestic hydrogen industry.”
Hydrogen is liquefied at minus 253 degrees Celsius. Liquid hydrogen can shrink to 1/800 of its original volume in a gaseous state, so liquid hydrogen is easier to store and transport. A tank lorry carries 250 kg of gaseous hydrogen, while it can transport up to 3,500 kg of liquid hydrogen, 14 times as much as gaseous hydrogen loaded on a tank truck. Liquid hydrogen is regarded as safe because it is in a state of low pressure, compared with gaseous hydrogen in a state of high pressure.