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Hyundai Glovis Expands to LNG Transport While Targeting Hydrogen

Hyundai Glovis expands into LNG gas transport business
Hyunai plans to use its newly build LNG carrier to build knowledge in gas transport (KSOE file photo)

Published Apr 13, 2022 4:10 PM by The Maritime Executive

Hyundai Glovis, the logistics group within the South Korean conglomerate, plans to enter the gas transport market starting with LNG and LPG by 2024 expanding from its traditional business transporting vehicles for Hyundai and Kia Motors. The company reports that it will sue the development of the LNG and LPG businesses as a step to target the future markets for transporting ammonia and hydrogen.

One of the large operators of vehicle transporters, Hyundai Glovis was established just 20 years ago and today has a fleet of over 100 car and truck transporters. The company reports that it has now entered into a long-term contract with Woodside, Australia’s largest LNG producer that accounts for about five percent of the global LNG supply. Under the terms of the ten-year agreement, with an option for five additional years, Hyundai Glovis will transport LNG produced in Australia to global consumers such as Northeast Asia.

Hyundai Glovis said that it has also ordered a newly built LNG carrier to be delivered in the second half of 2024. No details were provided on the vessel or the shipbuilding order, but its sister company Hyundai Heavy Industries is one of the leading shipbuilders in the LNG carrier business.

According to the company, the first attraction to diversify their business is the growth potential in LNG. They cited 2021 data from Morgan Stanley that predicts the demand for LNG will increase between 25 and 50 percent by 2030. The rapid increase in demand, they said, is contributing to a new business model for global shipping companies.

“In response to the rapidly growing LNG market, the strategy is to expand the shipping business portfolio centered on vehicle transport, and at the same time secure gas transport know-how to demonstrate global competitiveness in hydrogen supply in the future,” they write in the announcement of the launch of its LNG operations. 

They noted that Hyundai Glovis is the first Asian shipping company to sign a contract with Woodside and that they believe the operation will provide an “accumulation of know-how with global companies in preparation for the coming era of hydrogen transportation.”

Woodside, they noted, is active in the development of the hydrogen infrastructure participating in projects in Australia and investing in Hynet, a consortium for building hydrogen charging infrastructure in Korea. They noted that Woodside is also looking for hydrogen shipping in the future.

“Through this LNG carrier contract, Hyundai Glovis aims to internalize ship management capabilities for cryogenic gas cargo,” says the statement. 

Through a separate agreement signed last year with Trafigura, the world's third-largest raw material trading company which is based in Switzerland, Hyundai also plans to develop its gas transport experience. They said by 2024 they will be starting sea transportation of ammonia and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) working with Trafigura.