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A bird’s-eye view of Boryeong Blue Hydrogen Production Base

SK E&S has received regulatory waiver for its project to build the world’s largest blue hydrogen project in Boryeong, South Chungcheong Province.

The company announced on Dec. 20 that it had received government approval under the regulatory sandbox system to go ahead with its plan to produce clean hydrogen using cold heat from liquefied natural gas (LNG) and build and operate liquefied hydrogen plants.

The regulatory sandbox system offers a regulatory waive for a set amount of time to businesses to test out innovative products, services and business models in the market. The regulatory waiver allows SK E&S to build infrastructure for mass-production of blue hydrogen and the supply of liquefied hydrogen.

SK E&S and Korea Midland Power jointly applied for a regulatory waiver for their plan to build a large-scale blue hydrogen production base in Boryeong. The two companies are planning to invest about five trillion won to build the world’s largest blue hydrogen production base in the vicinity of Boryeong LNG Terminal, producing 250,000 tons of blue hydrogen annually.

SK E&S will produce blue hydrogen by removing carbon dioxide from a hydrogen production process by using carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology. Of the 250,000 tons of hydrogen to be produced, 200,000 tons of gaseous hydrogen will be supplied to fuel cells for hydrogen power generation in nearby areas through pipelines and 50,000 tons will be supplied to hydrogen filling stations nationwide in the form of liquefied hydrogen.

In particular, the two companies plan to utilize LNG cold heat in blue hydrogen production and liquefaction processes. LNG cold heat is energy generated when LNG is vaporized at minus 162℃. They are planning to use it in hydrogen reforming and carbon dioxide/hydrogen liquefaction processes. To this end, LNG piping must be introduced into a blue hydrogen plant. But until now, there has been a limit to the use of LNG cold heat as there is no standard on installing LNG piping beyond the boundaries of an LNG terminal.

The regulatory waiver has made it possible to utilize LNG cold heat in the Boryeong blue hydrogen project, paving the way for mass production of blue hydrogen that has higher eco-friendliness and economic feasibility. SK E&S expects to reduce electric power consumption by using LNG cold heat in blue hydrogen production and liquefaction processes, saving about 35 billion won in annual costs and reducing about 156,000 tons of indirect carbon emissions.

The two companies also received a regulatory waiver for the demonstration of the construction and operation of a liquefied hydrogen plant in the Boryeong Blue Hydrogen Production Base. Currently, there are no technical and safety standards on liquefied hydrogen-related facilities. SK E&S is promoting the construction of a liquefied hydrogen plant with an annual capacity of 30,000 tons in Incheon after receiving approval for a regulatory exception for demonstration.

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