Skip to content
  • KOSPI 3006.16 -1.17 -0.04%
  • KOSDAQ 995.07 +1.37 +0.14%
  • KOSPI200 393.34 +0.16 +0.04%
  • USD/KRW 1175.8 0.20 0.02%
  • JPY100/KRW 1,031.72 3.87 0.38%
  • EUR/KRW 1,366.75 -3.12 -0.23%
  • CNH/KRW 184.04 0.22 0.12%
View Market Snapshot

Hydrogen economy

Kolon Industries to mass produce key material for fuel cells

By Nov 19, 2020 (Gmt+09:00)

Kolon Industries Inc., a South Korean chemical and textile manufacturing company, is readying for the mass production of a key material for fuel cells amid a government push for the early establishment of a hydrogen ecosystem.

The company said on Nov. 19 that it will complete by the end of this month the construction of a factory that makes proton-exchange membrane (PEM), also known as polymer electrolyte membrane, used in fuel cell applications.

After a trial run at the factory, the company plans to mass produce the material from 2021.

Kolon Industries plans to mass produce a key material for fuel cells in 2021.
Kolon Industries plans to mass produce a key material for fuel cells in 2021.

Kolon Industries said it has also established a facility that manufactures membrane electrode assemblies (MEA), assembled stacks of PEMs, at its plant in Gumi, North Kyongsang Province.

“As the only local company that can produce both PEM and MEA simultaneously, we hope to improve the supply and demand situation in the fuel cell materials market,” said a Kolon official.

At its PEM facilities, the company said it can also produce redox (reduction-oxidation) flow batteries, used in energy storage systems (ESS), and separators applied to water electrolysis technology for hydrogen production.

According to industry officials, the global MEA market will grow to more than 3 trillion won ($2.7 billion), with the PEM market rising to over 1 trillion won, by 2025.


The move comes as the government is pushing the hydrogen economy as one of the country’s new growth engines amid the tightening of global environmental regulations.

Tougher global environmental regulations on carbon emissions are driving governments and private companies around the world toward the hydrogen economy, which utilizes the use of hydrogen as a fuel for heat, hydrogen vehicles, energy storage and long-distance energy transport.

At a government meeting in mid-October, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said the government will spend 800 billion won ($700 million) next year to support Korea’s transition to a hydrogen economy.

The government also plans to implement a system that will make mandatory the purchase of power produced by hydrogen fuel cells in the electric power market and lower the price of natural gas used in making hydrogen by up to 43%.

Write to Kyung-Min Kang at

In-Soo Nam edited this article.

Comment 0