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Hydrogen tie-up

Hyundai Motor, POSCO tie up in hydrogen projects

By Feb 16, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

Hyundai Motor, POSCO tie up in hydrogen projects

South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Group and steel giant POSCO have agreed to cooperate in hydrogen-related projects and jointly explore overseas business opportunities to nurture the hydrogen economy as their new growth driver.

Hyundai Motor Co., the country’s top automaker, said on Feb. 16 that the two companies will also work together in the fuel cell power generation business and the development of next-generation materials for hydrogen-powered vehicles.

“It is an urgent task for companies across all industries to adopt a new business paradigm to achieve carbon neutrality and sustainable growth,” Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Euisun said in a statement. “Our partnership with POSCO will help create a robust hydrogen ecosystem.”

As part of the alliance, POSCO, Korea’s largest steelmaker, will gradually replace commercial vehicles running at its two main steel mills with 1,500 Hyundai hydrogen trucks. They will also work toward establishing hydrogen fueling stations within POSCO’s plants.

In overseas markets, the two companies said they will jointly participate in green hydrogen production projects and other hydrogen-related businesses. Green hydrogen is hydrogen fuel that is created using renewable energy instead of fossil fuels.

“POSCO has the capacity to produce 7,000 tons of hydrogen and is already pushing to participate in an overseas green hydrogen project. Together with Hyundai, we aim to secure the hydrogen economy initiative,” said POSCO Chief Executive Choi Jeong-woo.

Hyundai Motor Chairman Chung Euisun (2nd from left) and POSCO CEO Choi Jeong-woo (3rd from left) shake hands after signing a business tie-up.
Hyundai Motor Chairman Chung Euisun (2nd from left) and POSCO CEO Choi Jeong-woo (3rd from left) shake hands after signing a business tie-up.

HYDROGEN ECONOMY TO TAKE OFF

According to US consulting firm McKinsey & Co., the size of the global hydrogen economy will grow to $2.5 trillion a year by 2050.

Hyundai Motor Chairman Chung, who took the helm of the automotive group in October of last year, has said the group’s new business focus will be on electric vehicles, hydrogen fuel cell cars and future mobility platforms.

After debuting the automotive group’s first hydrogen fuel cell EV, the NEXO, in 2013, Hyundai began mass-producing its hydrogen truck, the XCIENT Fuel Cell, and fuel cell bus Elec City last year and exporting them to the European market. The NEXO is the world’s top-selling hydrogen vehicle.

Hyundai Motor, POSCO tie up in hydrogen projects

Under its mid- to long-term fuel cell roadmap unveiled in 2018, Hyundai aims to produce 500,000 hydrogen-powered vehicles and 700,000 fuel cell systems by 2030 to solidify its leadership status in the global hydrogen vehicle market.

As part of such efforts, the automaker last year launched a new brand, HTWO, dedicated to its hydrogen fuel cell systems. Hyundai also said it will invest 8 trillion won ($7.3 billion) in the fuel cell EV business by 2030 and hire 50,000 workers for the project.

Meanwhile, POSCO said in December that it will establish a facility that can produce 5 million tons of hydrogen by 2050 and achieve annual sales of 30 trillion won in the hydrogen business by that year.

Write to Byung-Uk Do and Man-Su Choe at dodo@hankyung.com

In-Soo Nam edited this article.

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