SK Ecoplant will strengthen its strategic cooperation with U.S. fuel cell manufacturer Bloom Energy to secure leadership in the domestic and foreign fuel cell markets and accelerate its entry into the global hydrogen market.
SK Ecoplant announced on Oct. 26 that it has signed a total of five contracts, including a commercial cooperation agreemnt, with Bloom Energy.
The two companies plan to dramatically accelerate the localization of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) through the extension of exclusive domestic supply rights included in the contract and a revision of the joint venture agreement (JVA). Earlier, SK Ecoplant took its first step into the domestic fuel cell business through an exclusive domestic SOFC supply right agreement with Bloom Energy in 2018.
SK Ecoplant established joint-venture company Bloom SK Fuel Cell with Bloom Energy in January 2020 to localize SOFCs. In October 2020, it completed the construction of Bloom-SK Fuel Cell plant in Gumi, North Gyeongsang Province in Korea and began producing SOFCs in earnest. The production scale was originally planned to gradually expand from 50 MW in 2021 to more than 200 MW after 2025, but the signing of this contract is expected to enable production of more than 200 MW starting from 2023.
The Gumi plant will be able to produce SOFCs beginning from the end of 2022, and SOFCs to be sold to Asia in the future will also be produced first by the joint venture corporation in Korea. At the same time, SK Ecoplant will start exploring overseas markets in earnest.
The two companies also signed a contract to grant SK Ecoplant an exclusive right to sell fuel cells and solid oxide electrolysis (SOEC) facilities globally and an exclusive business rights to finance and carry out engineering, procurement, construction (EPC) businesses in the United States. They also saw eye to eye on building hydrogen innovation centers for technology development in Korea and the United States.