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Hyundai Glovis, GS Energy to work together for green energy business

March 27, 2023 - 16:12 By Kim So-yeon
Hyundai Glovis CEO Lee Kyoo-bok (right) and GS Energy vice president Kim Seong-won pose for a photo during a signing ceremony held at Hyundai Glovis headquarters in Seoul, Monday. (Hyundai Glovis)

Hyundai Glovis announced Monday that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with GS Energy for cooperation in clean hydrogen, ammonia, and green energy at its Seoul headquarters.

According to the agreement, Hyundai Glovis will be in charge of maritime transportation for the clean hydrogen and ammonia business. GS Energy will supervise the production of hydrogen and ammonia with the establishment of import terminals.

Hyundai Glovis previously invested 200 billion won ($153 million) in building two very large gas carriers that can hold 86,000 square meters per ship. The ships can transport liquefied petroleum gas as well as ammonia, as their cargo holds are designed with special materials. Currently, only 20 VLGCs are known to be able to ship ammonia worldwide.

The company is focusing on ammonia transportation as an alternative to liquefied hydrogen transportation. Gaseous hydrogen has a limited transport capacity and must be changed to liquid, but liquefied hydrogen -- hydrogen in a liquid state at minus 253 degrees Celsius -- has a low storage density and has not yet been commercialized.

For this reason, ammonia is emerging as a realistic alternative. When nitrogen is combined with hydrogen, it becomes ammonia, which can be transported by sea to then extract hydrogen when it arrives at its destination. Unlike liquefied hydrogen, ammonia is liquefied at minus 33 degrees Celsius and can store 1.7 times more hydrogen per unit volume, making mass transportation more feasible.

Hyundai Glovis and GS Energy also plan to promote joint businesses in liquid carbon dioxide and used batteries. In November last year, the two companies signed an agreement with GS Caltex and Korea East-West Power for cooperation in the business of carbon capture, utilization, and storage.

"We will play an important role as a global shipping company in the energy transformation era," an official from Hyundai Glovis said, adding, "We will show global competitiveness in eco-friendly businesses through cooperation with GS Energy."