Three SK Group units work with Petronas subsidiary to cooperate in clean energy business

By Lim Chang-won Posted : September 5, 2022, 10:35 Updated : September 5, 2022, 10:35

[Courtesy of SK Group]

SEOUL -- South Korea's SK Group joined hands with Malaysia's state oil and gas company Petronas to cooperate in clean energy businesses through their subsidiaries and discover joint business projects in the fields of hydrogen, fuel cells, and electric vehicle charging. The group hopes to create synergy by combining its technologies and capabilities with Petronas' production and distribution infrastructure. 

A memorandum of understanding has been signed between Gentari, a clean energy subsidiary of Petronas, and three SK Group units -- SK ecoplant, SK signet, and SK materials. Gentari delivers a suite of renewable energy, hydrogen and green mobility solutions. Each company will present specific cooperation plans by the end of 2022.

SK Group has set a challenging goal of achieving net zero ahead of 2050. Net zero means cutting greenhouse gas emissions to as close to zero as possible. "This MOU has significance as it is signaling that SK is going beyond just making investments, and expanding our presence in green business opportunities in the Southeast Asian market which is a key region for strategic global partnership," an unnamed SK Group official said in a statement on September 5. 

Petronas has stepped up cooperation with South Korean companies for their clean energy business. In August 2022, the Malaysian company teamed up with SK energy and five other South Korean companies to push for a cross-border project that will store captured carbon dioxide near an oil block off the northwest coast of Borneo. Carbon emitted by companies at an industrial complex in South Korea will be captured and transported to Malaysia.

Through cooperation with Gentari, SK signet, which provides a total solution for electric vehicle charging, will discover cooperative models in electric vehicle charging solutions and Battery-as-a-Service (BaaS),  a subscription-based service that provides customers with access to batteries for their vehicles. 

SK ecoplant, which provides environmental and energy solutions, is in charge of data center power supply and eco-friendly power generation based on solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs), which are an electrochemical conversion device that produces electricity directly from oxidizing a fuel. Due to their extremely high electrical efficiencies and low operating costs, SOFCs are emerging as a fast-growing fuel cell segment. 

SK ecoplant is working with its American partner, Bloom Energy, to tap overseas cogeneration markets with advanced heat supply SOFC solutions. In May 2022, the South Korean company secured a 30 percent stake in Cenviro, a waste management service provider in Malaysia, to secure its foothold in Southeast Asia. Waste management includes the collection, transport, treatment and disposal of waste.

Together with Gentari, SK materials, the material investment unit of SK Group, will push for a carbon capture and storage (CCS) project. produce blue hydrogen and ammonia based on technology from 8 Rivers Capital, a U.S. developer and financier of energy technology.

“Cooperation in clean green business opportunities by SK and Gentari is indeed a significant step forward by both companies to jointly respond to the climate crisis confronting the global community," said SK materials CEO Lee Young-wook.

SK materials has secured a 12 percent stake in 8 Rivers Capital to establish a joint venture that will promote clean energy businesses in Asian countries. SK materials would have the exclusive business rights of 8 Rivers' carbon capture, utilization and storage technology in Asia and priority participation in the development of global projects and new technologies. 

Carbon capture utilization technology is used to capture carbon generated in the hydrogen production process. 8 Rivers is known for supercritical CO2 power generation technology that inherently collects carbon dioxide without a separate facility and blue hydrogen manufacturing technology that cools and separates CO2 at low temperatures in the hydrogen production process. 
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