Supports strategic options for commercializing clean hydrogen with economic and environmental benefits
Helps build SK Inc.’s hydrogen value chain and realize its hydrogen business road map with promising new technologies
SEOUL, South Korea, and LINCOLN, Nebraska – SK Inc., the investment firm for South Korea’s third-largest conglomerate, announced today it is the lead investor in the latest round of funding for Monolith Materials, Inc., a U.S.-based leader in green hydrogen technologies. The investment will support expansion of Monolith’s green hydrogen production facility in Nebraska and further SK’s strategy to make carbon-neutral energy accessible to global markets as part of a commitment to Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) management practices.
In addition to the investment, SK Inc. will collaborate with Monolith Materials on future expansion into global markets. Monolith Materials is the first U.S. manufacturer to produce an industry-transforming hydrogen known as “green hydrogen” on a commercial scale using its proprietary methane pyrolysis process. Through this process, Monolith manufactures clean, economically sustainable hydrogen using 100% renewable energy. Monolith’s hydrogen is classified as green hydrogen, which is the cleanest hydrogen available today.
“Monolith Materials’ proprietary green hydrogen production process supports SK’s initiative to lead the global transition to a hydrogen economy and make meaningful progress toward a more sustainable energy system,” said Moo-hwan Kim, executive vice president of SK Inc. “SK recognizes the critical role hydrogen plays in alternative energy sources, and we are encouraged by Monolith’s technology that advances clean hydrogen production.”
SK Inc. led a consortium of investors that also included NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, a leading clean energy company headquartered in Juno Beach, Fla., and Perry Creek Capital. This round also included additional investment from current Monolith funders Azimuth Capital Management, Cornell Capital and Warburg Pincus.
“When evaluating potential investors, it was critical that we work alongside organizations that share Monolith Materials’ vision for a decarbonized world that includes green hydrogen,” said Rob Hanson, co-founder and CEO of Monolith Materials. “SK and NextEra Energy Resources are global clean energy leaders that share our enthusiasm about the promise of green hydrogen, and we are honored to have them by our side in our pursuit of a clean energy future.”
Monolith Materials, which was founded in 2012, developed a process technology that uses renewable energy to convert natural gas into clean hydrogen and a solid carbon material called carbon black, a critical raw material in the automotive and industrial sectors. The company is currently in the operating stage of its first commercial-scale production facility in Hallam, Nebraska. Along with producing green hydrogen, the company recently announced its plans to produce clean ammonia at a second phase production facility nearby.
When its expansion is complete, expected to occur in 2024, Monolith Materials’ production of green hydrogen, clean ammonia and carbon black is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 1 million metric tons per year compared to traditional manufacturing processes.
For SK, hydrogen has become a key part of its overall green energy growth strategy. SK Inc. is pursuing various strategies to foster hydrogen businesses, such as diversifying hydrogen production methods, expanding demand development and forming global partnerships. SK Inc. aims to secure clean hydrogen leadership and accelerate the global hydrogen ecosystem.
SK Inc. established a “Hydrogen Business Development Center,” a group-level hydrogen business, at the end of last year and proposed a goal of establishing a value-chain from hydrogen production, distribution and consumption by 2025. SK plans to produce a total of 280,000 tons of hydrogen, including about 30,000 tons of liquefied hydrogen from 2023, and 250,000 tons of eco-friendly clean hydrogen from 2025.
In addition, SK Inc. invested about $1.6 billion with SK E&S in January in Latham, N.Y.,-based Plug Power, a leading provider of hydrogen fuel cell and fueling solutions, and is specifying its partnership to jointly enter the Asian hydrogen market.
The Monolith investment also reinforces SK’s commitment to expanding its U.S. businesses. In 2019, SK Group Chairman Tae-won Chey committed to investing $10 billion to create new jobs and opportunities for communities across the U.S. SK companies have more than 2,000 employees at sites in 10 states with plans that could more than triple its U.S. employee base in the next three years.
Based in Seoul, South Korea, SK Group is a collection of diverse multi-national manufacturing and service companies united under a holding company structure that share a common SK Brand and Corporate Culture. SK strives to build the industries that drive future financial and social prosperity. Ranked by Fortune among the world’s 100 largest businesses, SK Group companies are global leaders in semiconductors, telecommunications, energy and life sciences. Across its companies, SK is committed to building environmentally sustainable businesses that help reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and increase the use of renewable energy. SK Group is a founding member of the Value Balancing Alliance, and SK Group companies were the first Korean businesses to join the Climate Group’s RE100, a group of global companies committed to moving toward 100 percent renewable energy. SK companies combined have $119 billion in annual global revenue and more than 100,000 employees worldwide. For more information on SK, visit http://www.sk.com/.
About Monolith Materials
Monolith Materials is a next-generation green hydrogen and clean materials company that uses renewable electricity as part of a proprietary process to convert conventional and renewable natural gas to green hydrogen and carbon black in an environmentally advantaged manner. Monolith is backed by Azimuth Capital Management, Cornell Capital LLC, Imperative Ventures, Warburg Pincus, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America, SK Inc., NextEra Energy Resources, LLC. and Perry Creek Capital. For more information on Monolith Materials visit www.monolithmaterials.com.