LG Chem's petrochemicals business chief Noh Kug-lae (right) and Taekyung Chemical CEO Park Ki-hwan pose after signing a meomrandum of understanding in Seoul on Monday. (LG Chem)
LG Chem said Monday that it is building its first hydrogen plant in South Korea as part of efforts to become carbon neutral throughout its petrochemical production.
The plant, to be located in its Daesan complex, some 75 kilometers southwest of Seoul, will have an annual production capacity of 50,000 tons of hydrogen by the second quarter of 2024, with the construction work to start early next year.
The facilities for cracking naphtha at a high temperature, known as naphtha cracking centers, produce petrochemical feedstocks like ethylene and propylene.
By replacing naphtha with hydrogen, the firm said it would reduce its carbon emissions by about 140,000 tons per year.
LG Chem said it plans to increase the use of hydrogen and other renewable fuels by up to 70 percent by 2025. The firm will consider expanding related facilities depending on effectiveness and productivity.
It also added that it aims to build a value chain to reuse CO2 produced in the hydrogen production process, in partnership with local carbon dioxide maker Taekyung Chemical.
Under the partnership, LG Chem will collect carbon dioxide to be reprocessed by Taekyung for carbonated beverages and dry ice.
“Building a new hydrogen plant as well as a recycling system of carbon dioxide is part of our efforts to seek sustainability for our petrochemicals business,” said Noh Kug-lae, petrochemicals business chief of LG Chem. “We will continue to adopt emissions-cut technology like hydrogen.”