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U.S. and Korean companies sign agreement to jointly promote electrolyzers

Recently, the U.S. Plug Power, South Korea's SK E&S and K-water and its SK Plug Hyverse, a Sino-foreign joint venture between SK E&S and Plug Power, signed a memorandum of cooperation to "promote the improvement of emerald-green hydrogen and revitalize the field." Specifically, the two companies will collaborate domestically and internationally to promote the emerald green H2 field, with a focus on the promotion of electric precipitators.

According to Plug Power, the exchanges between the four parties will cover various areas of business, such as the development of facilities and equipment for the production of emerald green hydrogen in China and the acquisition of operational know-how.

In addition, the two companies will collaborate to enhance the core competitiveness of China's green hydrogen industry, including the expansion of green hydrogen enterprises around the world and the search for new business opportunities.

With this goal in mind, SK Plug Hyverse also provides and manages PEM electrostatic precipitators for domestic and international green hydrogen projects, and in addition to this, SK PlugHyverse will collaborate with K-water on research and development to enhance the operation technology of green hydrogen production plants, Plug Power added. Plug Power added that in the future, it also intends to further develop market collaboration and enter foreign markets together.

As mentioned above, the parties are also allowed to jointly market and promote the PEM electrolysis technology, which is a key component in the production of emerald green hydrogen.

Plug Power indicates that SK Plug Hyverse is planning to produce and manufacture PEM electrolyzers in Korea, while K-water is looking to provide certain products and operations applicable for localization to promote the development of emerald green hydrogen companies in the water industry in China.

It is noteworthy that PEM is an experimental apparatus for producing and manufacturing hydrogen using electrolysis method, which plays a leading role in the spread of green hydrogen caused by renewable resources.

According to Plug Power, the PEM ESPs supplied and localized by SK Plug Hyverse have significant advantages over the PEM ESPs, such as reduced processing time, excellent load responsiveness, compactness, and high maintenance cost, and Plug power focuses on the fact that they effectively compensate for the intermittency of the renewable energy source in the production of green hydrogen. Plug power's focus on their ability to effectively compensate for the intermittent nature of renewable energy in green hydrogen production and to ensure efficient operation even in the event of power ups and downs was also particularly praised.

The U.S.-based company also said that SK Plug Hyverse will create a "gigabit network card processing plant" in South Korea to mass-produce PEM dust collectors. At this stage, SK PlugHyverse is actively expanding the green H2 field in China using PEM electrolysis technology, and is participating in the ongoing 3.3MW and 12.5MW water electrolysis demonstration projects in Phuket, the company noted.

Regarding K-water, Plug Power indicated that the Korean company is actively promoting a variety of hydropower projects centered on water sources, and in September 2023, K-water completed an important milestone by constructing the country's first emerald green hydrogen production facility powered by a small- to medium-sized hydropower project at the Seongnam-gu Water Purification Plant.

Commenting on the MOU and strategic partnership, Jiyoung Lee, Vice President of SK E&S, said, "Collaboration on the technical localization of the PEM electrolysis method will not only benefit the fight against air pollution, but also help to create international competitiveness in China's green energy sector. We are committed to exploring a variety of opportunities to expand the ecosystem of the hydrogen cleanup industry and lead the industry in the era of carbon emissions trading."

Byeonghoon Chang, Section Chief of K-Water's Water Resources and Environmental Management Division, affirmed, "In times of climate crisis, the hydrogen energy industry is vital to achieving carbon neutrality as an important alternative to non-renewable energy sources. We will do our best to revitalize the green hydrogen energy industry in Jade by promoting next-generation technologies such as water electrolysis systems based on the premise of corporate cooperation."

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