1,000 hydrogen buses in a bid of Busan to become next eco-city
SK E&S will supply 1,000 hydrogen buses to Busan to support the bid by South Korea’s second-largest city to host World Expo 2030. The energy company signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with city authorities and Hyundai.
Under the agreement, SK E&S and the Busan partners will transform diesel and compressed natural gas buses into hydrogen buses by 2025. The City Government’s plan targets replacing 322 inner-city and shuttle buses in 2023 and converting another 402 and 285 in 2024 and 2025, respectively.
The MoU also foresees ten hydrogen charging stations and fosters ten companies specialising in hydrogen energy by 2030 by supporting their R&Ds and training programs.
Apart from the energy company, signees include the Busan Metropolitan Government, the Ministry of Economy, Busan Port Authority, Busan Metrobus Company Association, Busan Techno Park, and Hyundai Motor to develop a hydrogen economy in the city.
Under the MOU, SK E&S is responsible for supplying liquified hydrogen, constructing charging infrastructure and contributing to activities for nurturing small businesses to create a hydrogen ecosystem and new jobs in the Busan Metropolitan City.
It is unclear which role Hyundai will play. However, earlier news in January saw South Korea targeting to launch 624 hydrogen buses in Busan and Ulsan, with Hyundai likely supplying the vehicles based on their Universal coach.
However, the port, for example, will have a hydrogen charging station and ships and trucks powered by hydrogen, according to SK E&S.
Company CEO Choo Hyeong-wook said, “If Busan is transformed into a hydrogen city that leads carbon neutrality in the medium to long run, it will not only be able to host the World Expo successfully but will also become a successful global example of an eco-friendly city.”
The bid is titled ‘Hydrogen Fueled Green Busan’. It is part of the “Carbon Neutral Expo” model based on hydrogen energy which Busan is promoting in a bid to go ahead of the competition. Italy (Rome), Saudi Arabia (Riyadh), and Ukraine (Odesa) have also made their bids to host the World Expo 2030.