“Our greatest source of energy”: South Korea plans 40 overseas hydrogen bases to meet vast future demand

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South Korea has landed its stall as the world leader in the hydrogen economy – and a future massive importer of fuel – as its government has declared H2 phase out oil as the main source of energy by 2050.

In a first comprehensive hydrogen strategy statement, the Seoul government said by mid-century that it will aim to achieve self-sufficiency covering 60% of an annual demand of 28 million tonnes by harnessing the ‘H green2 produced abroad.

With hydrogen expected to penetrate all areas of its economy, including power generation, transportation and heavy industry, the government said it would keep import lines safe by investing in 40 water channels. ‘dedicated foreign hydrogen supply, leveraging South Korea’s financial and technical strength.

This could be good news for giant green hydrogen initiatives planned in places in the Middle East and Australia, which have already identified South Korea and Japan – which have limited space for massive domestic H.2 production – as potential customers for their production.

“Hydrogen will become our single largest energy source in 2050, which will account for 33% of total energy consumption,” Korea’s Energy Ministry said, making this fuel a central part of net zero ambitions of the nation in 2050.

The government will put in place policies to stimulate demand, such as encouraging steel and chemical companies to switch to H2-processes, promote hydrogen-based transport technologies and encourage fossil energy producers to mix H2 in their fuel mixture.

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Reload reported earlier in November how the nation wants to introduce an energy mix 30% hydrogen in all its gas plants by 2035 and 20% ammonia (NH3) in more than half of its coal plants by 2030.

“By building a hydrogen port near power plants and industrial complexes, ships, vehicles and port equipment [will be] converted to hydrogen-based systems. We will build a network of hydrogen pipelines focused on major hydrogen production and [import] bases, and review the incorporation of hydrogen using the existing natural gas network, ”said the ministry.

Although most of the demand by 2050 is expected to be met by green hydrogen, the fossil-derived blue variety linked to carbon capture will still play a role, accounting for two million tonnes of supply by then .

South Korea is reportedly aiming to reduce the costs of producing green hydrogen to around $ 2 / kg by 2050.

With limited space on earth for large-scale renewable energy production, South Korea – which currently only produces 220,000 tonnes of hydrogen per year, all “gray from unreduced fossil fuels – is already investigating. options for linking offshore wind production to green H2 go out.


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