SK Energy, the oil business unit of SK Innovation Inc., has recently announced the launch of South Korea’s first hydrogen charging station designed exclusively for heavy duty trucks.
The facility is located in the industrial city of Ulsan and has a capacity of 80kg/hr, which allows it to charge up to 40 trucks per day.
The hydrogen charging station is a joint investment project of SK Energy, Ulsan City, and the national government, costing KRW7 billion or $5.3 million. SK Energy contributed about KRW1.3 billion for the construction of a 1.5-kilometer underground pipe linking the charging station to a hydrogen plant.
Truck drivers frequent the area or route where the hydrogen charging station was installed, located 7km from Ulsan Interchange and 3km from Cheongnyang Interchange. SK Energy stated that the station would help fill a gap as there are still many diesel-powered trucks due to slow progress in electrification.
Unlike existing hydrogen delivery systems via tankers, the charging station supplies hydrogen through an underground pipe to improve stability. SK Energy will also provide free hydrogen charging service as part of the company’s promotional event for the launch of the service - 10 vehicles per day will be fueled for the initial period.
SK Energy’s move toward hydrogen charging stations and fuel cells was first announced last year, and the company pledged in January 2023 to set up energy stations that can produce hydrogen, heat, and electricity.
The launch of South Korea’s first hydrogen charging station for large cargo trucks is a significant step toward promoting green energy and reducing carbon emissions in the transportation sector. The success of the project could pave the way for further developments and initiatives in hydrogen infrastructure, which may ultimately accelerate the country’s transition to a more sustainable future.