State-run Korea Gas Corp. to invest in LNG and hydrogen projects

State-run Korea Gas Corp. (Kogas) said it will invest 10 trillion won (USD 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 (USD 5.36 billion) 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 total roughly 70% of the nation’s total supply.South Korea in 2017 imported roughly 30% of its total supply from Qatar, while buying natural gas from Australia, Oman and other countries.

Instead, Kogas said it will invest 6 trillion won (USD 5.36 billion) to expand LNG capacity and combine advanced technologies to improve the energy management system, and invest 3 trillion won (USD 2.68 billion) in overseas projects to diversify y supplies.

The company also plans to inject 1 trillion won (USD 893.33 million) 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 roughly 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.

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