LG Chem to set up hydrogen plant in South Korea

LG Chem

Seoul-headquartered chemical company LG Chem is planning to build a 50,000 tonne per annum (tpa) hydrogen plant in South Korea in an effort to slash carbon emissions and up its use of renewable energy for production.

According to a company statement: “It is a key component of LG Chem’s strategy to increase its use of renewable energy such as hydrogen in the naptha cracking center (NCC) process by up to 70% by 2025, as well as to the company’s plans to actively utilise hydrogen in the production of renewable bio feedstocks, such as hydro-treated vegetable oils.”

The hydrogen plant is expected to be up and running by the second quarter of 2024. The plant will convert methane to hydrogen from a chemical reaction under high-temperature steam.

LG Chem, which operates three naphtha crackers with a total ethylene capacity of 3.3 million tpa, plans to cooperate with Taekyung Chemical, the largest carbonic acid gas producer in Korea.

LG, however, did not provide financial details with regards to the plan.

“The establishment of our hydrogen plant and carbon dioxide circulation system is an effort to create a sustainable future for our petrochemical business by achieving carbon neutrality,” said Noh Kug-lae, Head of Petrochemical Business at LG Chem. “Hydrogen will allow us to convert our petrochemical pyrolysis to a more sustainable low-carbon process.”

The petrochemical industry produces base chemicals such as ethylene, propylene, and butadiene which are made by breaking down naphtha at high temperatures. Methane is commonly used as a heat source for the NCC process which generates a large amount of carbon emissions.