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SK E&S, Plug Power form joint venture on hydrogen biz

All News 15:30 October 06, 2021

By Kim Eun-jung

SEOUL, Oct. 6 (Yonhap) -- SK E&S Co., the energy unit of South Korean conglomerate SK Group, said Wednesday it will team up with U.S. fuel cell maker Plug Power Inc. to make a foray into the Asian hydrogen market.

The two companies struck a deal to establish a 51:49 joint venture company, nine months after SK E&S and SK Inc., the group's holding firm, invested 1.6 trillion won (US$1.5 billion) to acquire a 9.9 percent stake in Plug Power.

The joint venture will build a factory to produce key components for the hydrogen business, including fuel cell systems and electrolyzers, and a research and development center in Gyeonggi Province, which surrounds Seoul, by 2024, SK E&S said.

SK E&S said it will leverage Plug Power's advanced hydrogen fuel cell technology to produce liquid hydrogen and distribute it to about 100 charging stations nationwide.

They also agreed to jointly tap into the Asian hydrogen market to capitalize on the growing demand for hydrogen as a clean alternative fuel.

The joint venture comes as the nation's largest private natural gas provider plans to produce 30,000 tons of liquefied hydrogen each year beginning in 2023.

In the long term, SK E&S said it will work with Plug Power to commercialize "green" hydrogen, which is produced through the electrolysis of water with electricity generated from renewable sources and only oxygen is emitted during the process.

Choo Hyung-wook, CEO of SK E&S Co., announces the company's business road map during a media event in Seoul on Sept. 1, 2021, in this file photo provided by the energy unit of SK Group. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)


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