POSCO has shared a blueprint for producing five million tons of hydrogen by 2050 and making 30 trillion Korean won (KRW) sales from the hydrogen business. Its goal is to achieve a “carbon neutral society” where CO2 emissions, the primary greenhouse gas, are cut to net-zero by producing hydrogen, a clean energy source, and using it in steel production. Its hydrogen business is expected to begin in earnest as it is almost certain that CEO Choi Jeong-woo will renew his contract.
On Sunday, POSCO announced its strategy to lead decarbonization efforts by expanding hydrogen production. It will focus on developing hydrogen technologies such as electrolysis that use electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen and other methods of extracting hydrogen. It also plans to create a “hydrogen-based steel production” method.
Using new technologies, the company aims to increase by-product hydrogen production tenfold from 7,000 to 70,000 tons by 2025. It also plans to produce 500,000 tons of blue hydrogen, which is low carbon hydrogen produced from fossil fuels, by 2030 in collaboration with global companies, and two million tons of green hydrogen from renewables, to produce a total of five million tons of hydrogen by 2050 and make 30 trillion won from hydrogen business alone.
The steelmaker also wants to decarbonize steelmaking by 2050 by utilizing green hydrogen. If hydrogen-based steel production methods become commercially available, 3.7 tons of hydrogen will be needed annually, which will make POSCO the largest hydrogen producer and consumer in South Korea.