Three South Korean Majors Set Sights on Green Energy Hub in Australia

South Korea’s Korea Zinc, petrochemicals group Hanwha Impact Corp and SK Gas launched the Han-Ho Hydrogen Consortium on Wednesday to build a green energy export hub in Australia’s Queensland state, aiming to produce a million tonnes of green ammonia annually for export by 2032. The consortium plans to develop up to 3 GW of renewable energy capacity in the region.

The electricity produced will be used to power electrolyzers to produce green hydrogen, which would then be used to produce ammonia for export to South Korea.

The companies did not mention an estimated cost for the huge project.

Green ammonia is considered a key alternative to coal in power generation and is seen as the best way to ship green hydrogen, which could be used as a transport fuel as well as in heavy industries, especially steelmaking.

Ark Energy, Korea Zinc’s Queensland-based clean energy arm, said the 3 GW of new renewable energy capacity was key to lowering the cost of green hydrogen and ammonia, as the energy cost makes up about half of the cost of the products.

“The scale of this is unprecedented, but it’s absolutely fundamental to underpin the industrial scale production of green hydrogen as a feedstock for green ammonia exports,” Ark Energy CEO Kim said during a media conference.

“There are many challenges ahead, including very prohibitive cost curves for all things hydrogen,” he said.

The consortium aims to make a final investment decision around 2027 or 2028, with construction expected to take around four years.

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