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DNV to assess the viability of blending H2 into South Korea's gas transmission network

DNV has been selected by South Korea’s state-owned natural gas importer and transporter Korea Gas Corporation (KOGAS) to assess the viability of blending H2 into the nation’s gas transmission network. KOGAS is one of the world’s largest importer of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and transports the regasified fuel nationwide through its extensive high-pressure gas pipeline network.

The two-year project will assess the scope for blending H2 with natural gas in KOGAS’ 5,000-kilometer-long domestic transmission network. More specifically, DNV will assess the pipeline network’s suitability for H2 blending, provide technical and advisory support to KOGAS’s H2 blending test project on Jeju Island and provide support to KOGAS in addressing the requirements of South Korea’s regulatory authorities in overseeing H2’s integration and uptake. 

The work plan includes assessing and demonstrating the viability and impact of blending H2 with natural gas at various ratios in KOGAS’ transmission pipeline system, advising on the options, construction and operation of H2 injection facilities and equipment, reviewing methods for controlling the concentration of H2 blending for customers, providing onsite technical support and data analysis for the H2 demonstration project and supporting KOGAS in addressing the requirements of the energy regulator through the application of knowledge gained in related projects internationally.

DNV is working globally with an increasing number of gas pipeline companies to safely repurpose gas transmission and distribution networks for the integration of blended and 100% H2 gas. In addition, DNV’s Spadeadam research facility in the UK is conducting full-scale testing on the safe transportation of H2 in gas networks through to the appliances in homes.  

“DNV’s global technical expertise across the entire H2 value chain, from production to end use, means we are uniquely placed to support the world’s largest LNG importer KOGAS in creating value from H2 while also helping South Korea transition to a decarbonized energy future,” said Dr. Lim Dong Ho, South Korea Market Area Manager, Energy Systems at DNV.

"Our global H2 network of multidisciplinary experts, which has grown in Asia with key recruitments in 2022, has already been involved in numerous H2 initiatives across the energy and maritime industries, and we are in a unique position to cover the whole H2 value chain and maintain relations with all its key stakeholders,” said Brice Le Gallo, Vice President and Regional Director APAC, Energy Systems at DNV.

Our 2022 Energy Transition Outlook forecasts that H2 production for energy purposes will meet 9% of Asia-Pacific energy demand by 2050, and together with industry and governments, we are helping solve the technical challenges associated with adopting H2 as a leading fuel in the energy transition, to accelerate its uptake and meet our climate goals.

South Korea - a hub for H2  

Using imported LNG, natural gas is responsible for around 26% of South Korea’s power generation capacity, a share expected to grow to 31% by 2050 as coal and nuclear plants are phased out in accordance with South Korea’s 2050 Carbon Neutral Strategy and 9th Electricity Plan.  

South Korea adopted the H2 Economy Roadmap in 2019 and established the H2 Economy Commission in 2021 to oversee the development of a fully-fledged H2 economy to decarbonize transport, power generation and industry while also driving economic growth and global industrial competitiveness.  

Up to 2040, KOGAS is planning to invest $37 B internationally to establish renewable power generation facilities that produce H2 which will be imported, stored and transported through a specialized H2 pipeline network.  

South Korea sees H2 as a potential driver of job creation and economic growth worth $43 B. It is targeting H2 use to grow from 5.26 MMtpy at present to over 130,000 MMtpy by 2040, helping to develop large-scale stationary fuel cell power generation facilities and fuel cell electric vehicles.  

South Korea has the highest share of industrial energy demand of all IEA member countries at 55% and the third-largest public investment in H2 after Germany and Japan. H2 blending will support the decarbonization of South Korea’s manufacturing sector and is the backbone of the nation’s national H2 strategy.