The complex opened on 27th July and is the second such complex in the nation after the facility in Changwon City - the capital of South Gyeongsang Province - which has been operating since the end of last year. Gyeonggi Province expects that the Pyeongtaek complex will become a bridgehead in the hydrogen energy era.
“One of the future challenges we must overcome is climate change” said Gyeonggi Province Governor Dong Yeon Kim. “We will do our utmost to promote the hydrogen economy as one of the measures for dealing with the climate crisis, centering on the Pyeongtaek hydrogen production complex. The Pyeongtaek complex will be the largest hydrogen production base in South Korea, producing more than seven tons of hydrogen a day.” He added, “I have no doubt that this complex will play a key role in the carbon neutral era.”
Previously, Governor Kim pledged to create a ‘hydrogen fusion cluster’ in the cities of Pyeongtaek and Ansan and make it a key hub for the hydrogen industry through linkage with specialised industries in the region.
Following the construction of the hydrogen production complex, Gyeonggi Province and Pyeongtaek City plan to build a hydrogen transportation complex connected to hydrogen refueling stations near Pyeongtaek Port and to create a ‘hydrogen city’ that uses hydrogen as its main energy source.
The Pyeongtaek complex was selected in December 2019 for the Hydrogen Production Complex Construction Project promoted by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, entailing a total project cost of KRW 23 billion (USD 17.5 million): KRW 4.85 billion from the central government, KRW 3 billion from the provincial government, KRW 7 billion from the city government, and KRW 8.15 billion from the private sector.
This complex will produce hydrogen by reforming natural gas (a process of pyrolysing natural gas via steam) supplied from the Pyeongtaek LNG receiving base. From August, up to seven tons of hydrogen are slated for production per day (approximately 2,450 tons a year). This is the largest production amount in South Korea, capable of fully refueling 1,200 hydrogen cars a day (approximately 410,000 vehicles per year).
Most of the 33 hydrogen refueling stations currently operating in the Korean capital region (20 in Gyeonggi Province, seven in Seoul, and six in Incheon) are supplied with hydrogen from remote locations such as Daesan, Ulsan, and Yeosu, which are more than 120 kilometers away on average. As the completion of this complex stands to substantially reduce hydrogen transportation costs, the provincial government expects the hydrogen supply price in the capital region area to drop as well.
Meanwhile, from 2019, the Korean central government (Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy) has been planning to build small hydrogen production bases that supply hydrogen fuel using city gas near demand sites so as to resolve the regional bias in the supply of hydrogen produced in petrochemical complexes such as Daesan, Ulsan and Yeosu. This initiative is being implemented in seven regions across the country.
The Ministry plans to complete the currently planned establishment of seven small-scale hydrogen production bases (natural gas-based) within this year so as to realise carbon neutrality, and to additionally support the construction of clean hydrogen production bases with water electrolysis and carbon capture functions by 2026.
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