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Tycoons to push for launch of CEO-level hydrogen coalition

From left, Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Euisun, Posco Group Chairman Choi Jeong-woo, Hyosung Group Chairman Cho Hyun-joon and SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won listen to a Hyundai Motor worker explain about the company’s Electric Global Modular Platform at Namyang R&D Center in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province, Thursday. (Yonhap)
From left, Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Euisun, Posco Group Chairman Choi Jeong-woo, Hyosung Group Chairman Cho Hyun-joon and SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won listen to a Hyundai Motor worker explain about the company’s Electric Global Modular Platform at Namyang R&D Center in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province, Thursday. (Yonhap)

Leaders of four South Korean conglomerates -- Hyundai Motor, SK, Posco and Hyosung -- have agreed to launch a CEO-level consultation body for the local hydrogen economy.

According to officials from the business groups on Thursday, Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Euisun, SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won, Posco Group Chairman Choi Jeong-woo and Hyosung Group Chairman Cho Hyun-joon met at a Hyundai Motor’s research and development center early Thursday morning, where they agreed to forge a corporate alliance of hydrogen business players.

Envisioned to be a Korean version of the Hydrogen Council, a global CEO-level coalition launched in 2017 working to accelerate the clean energy transition, the body would recruit more participant companies before its official launch in September, the officials said.

Hyundai Motor Group, SK Group and Posco Group will serve as co-chairs of this new consultative body. It plans to finalize its members by July and appoint the chief representative for the September foundation.

Hyundai Motor Group said the leaders pledged to initiate hydrogen-focused business projects down the road.

Chairman Chung said, “While establishing this new alliance, (Hyundai Motor Group) will also continue its cooperation with local firms on hydrogen projects. (Hyundai Motor Group) will contribute to hastening the advent of hydrogen society here.”

SK Group’s Chey said, “It is important for companies to take on an entrepreneurial role in achieving the hydrogen economy.” He also pledged that SK Group will “work hard so that South Korea could become a leader in the global hydrogen industry.”

Posco’s Choi agreed that “the industrial circles should join forces to contribute to the country’s development and transition to carbon neutrality.”

Hyosung Group Chairman Cho shared its plan “to establish a hydrogen value chain by localizing part required to build hydrogen stations and hydrogen supply facilities.”

The four conglomerates are major firms here that have been investing resources in the local hydrogen industry.

Hyundai Motor Group succeeded in mass production of the world’s first hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicle in 2013. The group plans to annually produce 0.5 million hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles and 0.7 million hydrogen-based fuel cell system.

SK Group last year created an in-house unit dedicated to hydrogen business projects. By 2025, the group plans to increase its hydrogen production to 250,000 tons, from 30,000 tons in 2023.

Posco too aims to expand its annual hydrogen production capacity to 5 million tons by 2050, while achieving 30 trillion won in annual sales by then.

Hyosung Group will secure facilities in Ulsan, which can annually produce 13,000 tons of liquefied hydrogen, while building hydrogen stations in 30 regions across the country.

(ws@heraldcorp.com)
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