South Korea’s Hyosung to build world’s largest liquid hydrogen plant
Photo courtesy of Hyosung

South Korea’s Hyosung to build world’s largest liquid hydrogen plant

South Korean textile and chemical conglomerate Hyosung Group (KRX:004800) announced plants to build the world’s single largest liquid hydrogen manufacturing facility,  enough to fuel 100,000 cars.

Together with the Linde Group, a leading global provider of industrial gases, Hyosung will invest KRW 300 billion (USD245.3 million) in their joint enterprise to create a value chain that covers everything from the setup to the operation of liquid hydrogen production, transport and recharging facilities.

Hyosung and Linde signed the MOU at the Hyosung headquarters in Mapo, Seoul, South Korea on the 28th of April, with Hyosung Group Chairman Cho Hyun-joo and Linde Korea Chairman Sung Baek-seok in attendance.

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 the Hyosung Chemical Yongyeon plant in Ulsan, South Korea. The annual production capacity is 13,000 tons of liquid hydrogen. The two companies will form a joint venture this year, break ground in the first quarter of next year and complete the construction of 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 the 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 diverse mobility segments such as drones, vessels and forklifts as well as vehicles, 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 cooperative partnership agreement 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 South Korea.

“Hydrogen is an eco-friendly energy source that can change existing carbon-centered economic structure. Its possibilities are endless,” Cho 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 the 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 which is in a state of high pressure.