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By Kang Yoon-seung
SEOUL, Sept. 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's industry ministry said Tuesday it plans to install some 1,200 hydrogen charging stations across the country by 2040 in line with its vision to utilize hydrogen as the main source of energy for Asia's No. 4 economy.
In a bid to promote the awareness of such a hydrogen charging station, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy held a ceremony to open a new hydrogen charging station at the National Assembly building in western Seoul.
The charging station is capable of supplying hydrogen to more than 70 automobiles every day.
Currently, South Korea operates 29 hydrogen charging stations, including three in the capital city. South Korea will gradually expand the number to 310 by 2022.
Hydrogen is an environment-friendly alternative to fossil fuels as automobiles running on the resource only create water in the process of generating power. It can be produced by processing LNG or as a by-product of industrial facilities, including petrochemical plants.
Nearly 3,000 hydrogen fuel cell cars were on the road as of last month, a sharp increase from around 900 units posted in December.
South Korea has been seeking to build a society that harnesses hydrogen as the main source of energy for vehicles and other daily uses. The policy is considered one of the key projects pushed after by the Moon Jae-in administration.
Under the vision, the cumulative number of hydrogen-powered vehicles produced by 2040 will reach 6.2 million units, including 3.3 million units for exports, making South Korea the world's top green carmaker.
Last year, the government also started test runs of hydrogen-powered buses, seeking to expand the presence of such vehicles in public transportation.
The Seoul metropolitan government plans to start a pilot run of hydrogen fuel-cell taxis this year, with the goal of running 20 units by the end of 2022.
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