Korea Gas Corp. (KOGAS), a major gas supplier in the country, announced on April 28 that it will invest 4.70 trillion won (US$4.05 billion) in the hydrogen industry until 2030.
Under the “Hydrogen Industry Promotion Roadmap,” KOGAS is planning to lower the hydrogen price from the current 7,500 won (US$6.46) per kilogram to 4,500 won (US$3.88) by 2030 by expanding the use of low-cost byproduct hydrogen and building a mass supply system. It aims to further lower the hydrogen price to 3,000 won (US$2.58) per kilogram by 2040 through imports and increased local output.
Currently, hydrogen costs between 6,500 to 7,500 won (US$5.60 to 6.46) per kilogram in the domestic market. For a 100 kilometer drive, a fuel-cell vehicle consumes about 2 kilograms of hydrogen. When the cost is measured in terms of diesel, it is 9,000 won (US$7.75) per liter. Since this cost is expensive, experts point out that lowering prices is the key to the popularization of hydrogen vehicles.
KOGAS will also construct infrastructure in hydrogen production and distribution sectors as success of the hydrogen market rests upon the initial market formation. It will utilize existing natural gas distribution networks to expand hydrogen infrastructure. There are roughly 4,854 kilometers of pipeline and 403 distribution centers to supply natural gas. Based on these, the state-run firm will construct 25 hydrogen-producing facilities by 2030 and dramatically lower production costs through facility enlargement and operation efficiency. In addition, it will set up pipelines totaling 700 kilometers to transport the gas produced at the facilities across the country by 2030.
KOGAS said it will also invest 300 billion won (US$258.40 million) to compete the localization of equipment and accomplish technology independence in all value chains by 2030. The company plans to focus on technology development in hydrogen production and charging infrastructure and to develop the water electrolysis technology that produces hydrogen through liquefaction and electrolysis in the medium and long term.