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HHI Launches Integrated Hydrogen Business Strategy

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Published Mar 29, 2021 9:33 PM by The Maritime Executive

Last week, Hyundai Heavy Industries announced that it will be launching a new division centered on hydrogen - not just hydrogen propulsion, but an integrated business covering the full value chain of production, transport, sales and marketing. 

That chain starts with Hyundai Oilbank's recent deal with Saudi Aramco for the joint development of blue hydrogen production from LPG. Coupled with carbon capture, the project will produce a low-emissions supply of hydrogen. The CO2 will be shipped back to Saudi Arabia, where it will be used in oil production facilities. Aramco has not confirmed its planned use for the return cargo, but it currently uses CO2 for well stimulation, facilitating extraction of additional oil from existing fields. 

Other hydrogen production and transport projects will be pursued by the HHI holding company Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering Co. (KSOE), owner of the shipyard entities Hyundai Heavy Industries, Hyundai Mipo and Hyundai Samho. KSOE will focus its production efforts on opportunities in green hydrogen via hydrolysis, it said. It will also invest in the development of hydrogen carriers and hydrogen-fueled vessels. 

The latter effort is already well under way. KSOE's Hyundai Mipo division holds an AIP for a hydrogen carrier from KR and LISCR. KSOE has also signed an MOU with South Korea’s Doosan Fuel Cell Company, which is developing stationary fuel cells for utility applications. The two companies plan to work together on the development of a solid oxide fuel cell for maritime and offshore deployment.

The news of HHI's unified push towards a hydrogen power supply chain parallels a recent announcement that the firm will be creating a $900 million technology investment fund in partnership with the government-owned Korea Investment Corporation. The fund will be targeting investments and acquisitions in technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, remote autonomous ships and hydrogen fuel cells.