KOGAS to invest 10 tln won by 2025 in LNG, hydrogen projects
The state-run Korea Gas Corp. (KOGAS) said Friday it will invest 10 trillion won (US$8.84 billion) by 2025 to expand its natural gas capacity and infrastructure for hydrogen vehicles and other clean energy sources.
KOGAS, the world’s second-largest importer of liquefied natural gas (LNG), unveiled a long-term business plan on the 35th anniversary of its foundation as it expects to play a greater role under the government’s energy transformation policy.
The state utility firm said it will buy LNG at cheaper prices in future contracts and make joint efforts with other Asian buyers to have greater bargaining power, setting a goal of saving 6 trillion won from gas purchases by 2025.
KOGAS has been seeking to diversify its gas import portfolio beyond its traditional sources in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, which account for about 70 percent of the nation’s total supply. South Korea imported about 30 percent of its total supply from Qatar last year, while buying natural gas from Australia, Oman and other countries.
Instead, KOGAS said it will invest 6 trillion won to expand LNG capacity and combine advanced technologies to improve the energy management system and invest 3 trillion won in overseas projects to diversify supplies.
The company also plans to inject 1 trillion won in energy transformation projects to increase hydrogen-fueled cars, as well as LNG bunkering and trucks to help tackle air pollution problems.
To boost sales of hydrogen vehicles, KOGAS aims to establish about 100 hydrogen charging stations and distribution centers by 2022 and create 2 million tons of new natural gas demand by 2025.
The business plan was set in line with the Moon Jae-in administration’s plan to shift from coal and nuclear power to clean and renewable energy sources by 2030. KOGAS CEO Cheong Seung-il earlier said he expects natural gas to play a “bridging role” under the energy road map.
Demand for natural gas, a relatively clean source of fuel, is projected to grow at an annual rate of 0.81 percent to 40.49 million metric tons in 2031 from this year’s estimated 36.46 million metric tons, according to the government’s long-term gas supply plan.