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Novel Korean fuel cell power plant project to utilise by-product hydrogen

Korea Midland Power Co. Ltd (KOMIPO) has announced that it has concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with SK E&C and Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction to jointly promote a fuel cell power project utilizing byproduct hydrogen at SK E&C's head office building in Seoul, South Korea. As there is no similar commercialized facility in Korea, the trio plan to operate a pilot facility for one year to verify it and, when successful, intend to expand it to a 20 MW-capacity hydrogen fuel cell.

The signing ceremony for the conclusion of the MoU for Joint Promotion of Byproduct Hydrogen-Utilized Fuel Cell Power Generation Project with (from left) Chung Jin-Wook, Vice President of Doosan Heavy Industries, Chung Chang-Kil, President & CEO of KOMIPO, Cho Ki-Haeng, CEO of SK E&C and Kim Shin, CEO of SK Securities (photo courtesy KOMIPO).

According to a statement, the MoU was prepared to ensure the efficient promotion of the “Byproduct Hydrogen-Utilized Fuel Cell Power Generation Project” after grafting KOMIPO’s power generation facility operation know-how, SK E&C’s power generation facility construction technology, and Doosan’s fuel cell manufacturing technology.

The fuel cell power generation facility to be promoted under the MoU will not only have high generation efficiency but also save investment expenses due to its direct use of hydrogen without having to undergo the reformation process stage, unlike other facilities using fossil gas as fuel after reformation.

As there is no similar commercialized facility in Korea, the three companies plan to operate a pilot facility for one year to verify the main facility and, when successful, intend to expand it to a 20MW-capacity hydrogen fuel cell.

The total project cost that includes the verification stage is estimated at KRW 110 billion (≈ US$96.8 million). During the project period, an employment effect of about 1 000 jobs is expected. In addition, KOMIPO, SK E&C and Doosan plan to actively participate in the government’s new energy industry expansion policy through mutual cooperation in other businesses as well as in this project.

I hope that through a successful verification stage the facility will become a highly reliable byproduct hydrogen fuel gas power plant. With this project as momentum, KOMIPO will expand multi faceted cooperation in domestic and overseas businesses with cooperating companies and also make company-wide efforts to put the government’s new energy industry policy into practice, said Chung Chang-Kil, President and CEO of KOMIPO in a statement.

Related officials of the three companies revealed their expectations for the joint promotion of the fuel cell project to be a model practice of realizing the government’s policies and ‘Government 3.0’ through business collaboration between a public enterprise and private enterprises.

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