South Korea to develop testbed for eco-friendly ships

The South Korean government unveiled plans to develop a testbed to accelerate the development of carbon-neutral vessels.

Over the next five years, South Korea will invest a total of KRW 36.4 billion (about $33 million), the country’s Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF) said in a statement.

Scheduled to be built by 2025, the test area in Mokpo will enable companies and research centers to validate their innovative technologies.

Under the plan, the country will also build an eco-friendly demonstration ship capable of testing various engines such as those electrically- and hydrogen-powered. It will be possible to detach the vessel’s engine — an innovation that will significantly reduce costs of constructing ships for different fuel types.

The initiative is expected to contribute to South Korea’s 2050 Vision as the country moves towards the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.

The government said it will promote the transition to green shipping through expansion of eco-friendly vessels, including replacement of existing fleet with green ships. In 2019, the government revealed plans to convert 140 state-owned vessels to run on environmentally friendly fuels by 2030.

Last year, South Korea also launched a KRW 960 billion initiative aimed at investing in eco-friendly ship technology development projects.

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