The Korea Gas Corporation (KOGAS), a state-owned importer and transporter of natural gas in South Korea, has chosen DNV to evaluate the feasibility of incorporating hydrogen into the country’s gas transmission network.
The largest LNG importer in the world, KOGAS ships the regasified fuel across the country using its massive high-pressure gas pipeline system.
In the 5,000-kilometer-long domestic transmission network of KOGAS, the scope of blending hydrogen with natural gas will be evaluated throughout the course of the two-year experiment. More specifically, DNV will evaluate the pipeline network’s suitability for blending hydrogen, offer technical and advisory support to KOGAS’s hydrogen blending test project on Jeju Island, and assist KOGAS in meeting the regulatory authorities in South Korea’s requirements for overseeing the integration and uptake of hydrogen.
The work plan calls for evaluating and demonstrating the impact of mixing hydrogen and natural gas at various ratios in KOGAS’ transmission pipeline system, offering recommendations on the design, construction, and use of hydrogen injection facilities and equipment, looking at techniques for regulating the concentration of hydrogen blending for customers, offering on-site technical support and data analysis for the hydrogen demonstration project, and supporting KOGAS i.
Hydrogen hub in South Korea
Around 26% of South Korea’s power generation capacity is generated by natural gas using imported LNG; this percentage is anticipated to rise to 31% by 2050 as coal and nuclear reactors are phased out in compliance with the country’s 2050 Carbon Neutral Strategy and 9th Electricity Plan.
In order to oversee the development of a fully-fledged hydrogen economy to decarbonize transport, power generation, and industry while also promoting economic growth and international industrial competitiveness, South Korea adopted the Hydrogen Economy Roadmap in 2019 and established the Hydrogen Economy Commission in 2021.
Up until 2040, KOGAS intends to spend $37 billion abroad to build facilities for the production of hydrogen, which will be imported, stored, and moved through a specialized hydrogen pipeline network.
Hydrogen is viewed as a potential source of 43 trillion won ($43 billion) in economic growth and job creation in South Korea. It aims to increase the usage of hydrogen from the current 5.26 million tons per year (Mtpa) to over 130,000 Mtpa by 2040, contributing to the development of massive stationary fuel cell power plants and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs).
With a 55% share of industrial energy consumption, South Korea ranks third among IEA members in terms of public investment in hydrogen, behind Germany and Japan. The mainstay of the country’s national hydrogen policy, hydrogen blending will aid in the decarbonization of South Korea’s manufacturing sector.