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Hyundai Oilbank revives IPO push, expands blue hydrogen business

The company aims to reduce the ratio of its refinery business as it seeks to diversify its business portfolio

By Jun 15, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

Hyundai Oilbank revives IPO push, expands blue hydrogen business

South Korean refiner Hyundai Oilbank Co. is seeking to list its shares on the local bourse next year, according to its parent Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings Co.

The plan to go public is the refiner’s third attempt at an initial public offering, following aborted bids in 2018 and 2019.

Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings said in a regulatory filing on Monday that it will soon select an auditor to push for an IPO sometime in 2022 in the Korean market.

Industry watchers said Hyundai Oilbank is pursuing the listing as the domestic IPO market has been revitalized with ample liquidity amid ultra-low interest rates.

Improving business conditions following last year’s pandemic-caused slump are also prompting the company to go public, they said.

According to 38 Communication, an over-the-counter (OTC) market tracker, Hyundai Oilbank’s stock is trading at 47,000 won a share with its total market capitalization at 11.52 trillion won ($10.3 billion).

Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings is the largest shareholder of Hyundai Oilbank with a 74.1% stake, followed by Saudi Aramco, which owns 17% of the Korean refiner.

The holding company is seeking listings of its affiliates from the second half of this year, starting with its two shipbuilding subsidiaries, Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. and Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries Co. Another affiliate, Hyundai Global Service Co. is also gearing up to go public.

BLUE HYDROGEN

Meanwhile, Hyundai Oilbank said it is expanding its hydrogen business as part of its efforts to diversify its business portfolio.

On Monday, the refiner held a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of an 80 billion won liquid carbon dioxide plant jointly with a local chemical company

Hyundai Oilbank will provide the chemical firm with 200,000 tons a year of carbon dioxide, a byproduct of the refiner’s oil product manufacturing, for a blue hydrogen project.

Hyundai Oilbank is building a liquid carbon dioxide plant.
Hyundai Oilbank is building a liquid carbon dioxide plant.

Currently, there are three ways to make hydrogen.

Grey hydrogen is produced when the element is stripped from fossil fuels, while blue hydrogen is produced from natural gas and produces less CO2. Green hydrogen is the cleanest variety as it uses renewable energy to produce hydrogen from water.

Hyundai Oilbank aims to reduce its refinery business from the current 85% of its business portfolio to 50% by 2030 to slash its carbon emissions and diversify its energy mix.

In April, the company said it is joining hands with US gas and chemical company Air Products and Chemicals Inc. to produce hydrogen.

Air Products is the world’s largest hydrogen supplier and has technical expertise in hydrogen production using a range of base materials such as natural gas. The two companies will also develop a new revenue stream using green hydrogen.

Write to A-Young Yoon and Jae-Kwang Ahn at youngmoney@hankyung.com

In-Soo Nam edited this article.

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