By Kim Seung-yeon
SEOUL, March 23 (Yonhap) -- SK Innovation Co., a major South Korean energy company, said Thursday it has invested an additional US$50 million in Amogy Inc., a U.S. developer of an ammonia-based fuel cell platform, expanding the investment in sustainable fuels.
SK Innovation took part in the latest $139 million Series B-1 funding round for Amogy, the company said in a release. This follows SK Innovation's initial $30 million investment in the Brooklyn-based startup in July last year.
Other investors in the financing round included Singapore's sovereign wealth fund, Temasek, a venture unit of Saudi Arabia's Aramco, Japan's Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. and British venture capital firm AP Ventures.
Series A fundings take place to finance a startup's initial product development, and the Series B is usually intended to take the business to the next stage. Series C financings are for market expansion.
Amogy succeeded in the $20 million seed funding in December 2021 and a bridge funding of $46 million in June 2022.
Established in 2020, Amogy has developed a fuel cell system that directly turns liquid ammonia into hydrogen while on board. Through the on-board cracking of ammonia, hydrogen is sent into the fuel cell platform to power the vehicle.
Liquid ammonia has an energy density about three times greater than compressed hydrogen, making it cost-effective to store and transport.
Amogy carried out a successful test-drive in January this year of a semitruck running on its ammonia-based fuel cell system for several hours.
The company's first test with its ammonia power solution was on a 5 kilowatt drone in July 2021. It successfully carried out another test on a 100 kW tractor in May 2022.
It is working on a full-scale test on the truck under a broader blueprint to eventually expand the application of its ammonia-to-power solutions to shipping, including tugboats and barges.
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