Photo: Illustration only; Courtesy of Enagas

Green energy corridor to connect Queensland and Korea

Three of Korea’s large conglomerate groups have formed a new consortium to use hydrogen potential and build a green energy export corridor between North Queensland and north-east Asia.

The consortium consists of Australian-based Ark Energy and its parent company Korea Zinc, as well as Korean conglomerates Hanwha Impact and SK Gas.

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed to officially launch the Han-Ho Hydrogen Consortium which would develop a supply chain to export more than one million tonnes of green ammonia per annum from Australia to Korea by 2032.

The main part of the consortium’s plans will be the development of Ark Energy’s Collinsville Green Energy Hub south-west of Bowen which will have the potential to generate up to 3,000 megawatts.

“We welcome this major new consortium to Queensland – to accelerate progress in our green hydrogen industry and advance green energy exports to Korea,” said the premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

“Through this new consortium, Ark Energy brings Korea Zinc together with Hanwha Impact, a major petrochemicals company in Korea and SK Gas, which holds the largest market share of the Korean domestic LPG market.”

“This MOU signals their intention to develop future green hydrogen and ammonia opportunities in North Queensland which means more local jobs and more investment.”

Minister for Energy, Renewable and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni said since the launch of the Queensland Hydrogen Industry Strategy in 2019, the Palaszczuk Government had been working to further develop Queensland’s clean hydrogen export industry.

“The strength of Queensland’s existing infrastructure, combined with our future investment pipeline, is setting up towns like Townsville and regions like North Queensland to cement Queensland’s position as a global green hydrogen leader,” de Brenni said.

Ark Energy CEO Daniel Kim said the company will lead the consortium by leveraging its experience building the domestic hydrogen economy of North Queensland through SunHQ as well as its renewable energy portfolio including the Collinsville Green Energy Hub south-west of Bowen, which will have a potential generation capacity of up to 3,000 megawatts.

“Strategic partnerships will be essential to building a new green ammonia supply chain from Queensland to Korea and we are delighted that Korea Zinc, Hanwha Impact and SK Gas have decided to join our Consortium,” Kim said.

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Korea Zinc Vice Chairman Yun B. Choi said the consortium brings together three of the major players in Korea’s hydrogen economy which have a forecast demand for more than two million tonnes of green ammonia per annum from 2030.

Hanwha Impact CEO Hee-Cheul Kim said the company is operating under a mandate to drive change to a sustainable future and transition to an eco-friendly energy and carbon-neutral business.

SK Gas CEO, Brian (Byung Suk) Yoon said the strategic importance of the MoU and the infinite potential of the consortium can’t be overstated.

“This MoU aligns with our ambition to become a global top tier Net Zero Solution Provider and we’re excited to be collaborating with our partners to play a tangible role in helping countries like Korea in its energy transition by providing clean hydrogen,” said Yoon.