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South Korean companies to set up clean energy center in Australia

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MELBOURNE, Sept 21 (Reuters) – Three major South Korean groups said Wednesday they hope to build a clean energy export hub in the Australian state of Queensland, aiming to produce a million tons of green ammonia annually for export by 2032.

Han-Ho hydrogen consortium launched on Wednesday by Korea Zinc (010130.KS)petrochemical group Hanwha Impact Corp and SK Gas (018670.KS)plans to build up to 3 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy capacity at Collinsville in Queensland.

This electricity will be used to power electrolysers that split water and produce green hydrogen, which will then be used to produce ammonia for export to South Korea, the Queensland government and companies said.

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The statement does not mention the estimated cost of the huge project.

Green ammonia is considered a key alternative to coal in power generation and is seen as the best way to deliver green hydrogen, which can be used as a transportation fuel as well as in the steel industry.

“We look forward to working with our partners to unlock Australia’s potential to become a major producer and exporter of green hydrogen and its derivatives, including green ammonia,” Korea Zinc Vice Chairman Yoon B. Choi said in a statement released by the Queensland government. .

Ark Energy, the clean energy arm of Korea Zinc in Queensland, said 3 GW of new renewable energy capacity was key to lowering the cost of green hydrogen and ammonia, with energy costs accounting for about half the cost of production.

“The scale of this is unprecedented, but it is absolutely essential to support the production of green hydrogen on an industrial scale as a feedstock for green ammonia exports,” Ark Energy CEO Daniel Kim told reporters at a live press conference.

“There are a lot of challenges ahead, including the very prohibitive cost of anything hydrogen-related,” he said.

Kim said the consortium aims to make a final investment decision around 2027 or 2028, with construction taking about four years.

Kim was unable to immediately comment on the estimated cost of the green energy center.

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Reporting by Sonali Paul; Edited by Devika Shyamnath

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