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Air Liquide, Airbus, Incheon Airport and Korean Air partner to prepare the use of hydrogen in the decarbonization of the aviation sector in Korea

  • Press Release
  • Air Liquide
  • Partnership
  • Asia
  • Usage
Air Liquide, Airbus, Korean Air and Incheon International Airport Corporation signed a Memorandum of Understanding to explore the use of hydrogen at Incheon International Airport. More globally, the collaboration will also study the development of a Korean airport infrastructure to support the deployment of hydrogen-powered commercial aircrafts. This partnership reflects a shared ambition to drive the emergence of an innovative aviation sector dedicated to supporting the Korean government's goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.

In the framework of the MoU, the four partners will prepare a roadmap to first develop hydrogen usages at and around Incheon Airport, and build scenarios to support the deployment of hydrogen ecosystems connected to other Korean airports. As a second step, the partnership focuses on carrying out studies aimed at defining and developing the required liquid infrastructure at Incheon Airport to prepare the arrival of the first hydrogen-powered aircraft.

Each partner will leverage their complementary expertise to help define the potential opportunities that hydrogen offers, and support the decarbonization of the aviation industry. Air Liquide will bring its extensive expertise in mastering the entire hydrogen value chain (production, liquefaction, storage and distribution), in particular liquid hydrogen supply. Airbus will provide characteristics of hydrogen-powered aircraft ground operations as well as aircraft characteristics and fleet energy usage, while Korean Air will provide expertise on ground aircraft operations and aviation management and operations. Finally, Incheon International Airport Corporation will provide an airport development plan outlook, along with air traffic characteristics and distribution among terminals, starting with Incheon International Airport, one of the largest and busiest airports in the world.

Air Liquide, a pioneer and a leader in hydrogen solutions will leverage its strong local footprint to accelerate the deployment of hydrogen solutions in South Korea. At Incheon Airport, the Group has already invested in two high-capacity hydrogen stations that started up in August 2021, serving hydrogen fuel cell buses, cars and demonstration trucks, and is supplying hydrogen molecules to the stations under a long-term contract.

Francois Abrial, member of the Air Liquide Group’s Executive Committee supervising Asia-Pacific, said:

“Momentum is building around hydrogen, notably with initiatives to accelerate the development of a more sustainable aviation. South Korea is one of the most active countries in the world for hydrogen activities and we are pleased to participate with our partners in the development of the country’s hydrogen economy. By starting to introduce hydrogen now through mobility projects, and with the ambition of developing liquid hydrogen infrastructures for airports in the future, we are contributing to building a more sustainable future.”

About Air Liquide Korea

Air Liquide has been present in South Korea since 1996, and employs today more than 400 persons. On top of providing industrial gases and related services to major industries (petrochemical, steel, semiconductors, car manufacturing, etc.), it also has a strong presence in Home Healthcare activities. It is also one of the founders and key contributors to the development of the hydrogen economy in Korea, as shown by its participation in HyNet, a special purpose company created in 2019 to install 100 hydrogen refueling stations by 2022 and in KOHYGEN (Korea Hydrogen Green Energy Network), a special-purpose company established in 2021 to accelerate fuel cell heavy-duty vehicle deployment.
Air Liquide’s commitment to hydrogen

In full support of the 2015 Paris agreement, the Air Liquide commitments address the urgency of climate change and energy transition, targeting carbon neutrality by 2050. As a pioneer in hydrogen, the Group is that hydrogen is a cornerstone of the energy transition. In the past 50 years, the Group has developed unique expertise enabling it to master the entire supply chain, from production and storage to distribution, contributing to the widespread use of hydrogen as a clean energy carrier for a wide range of applications such as  industrial usages and clean mobility.  Air Liquide is committed to reaching several goals, investing approximately 8 billion Euro in the low-carbon hydrogen full value chain by 2035, and a total of 3 GW electrolysis capacity by 2030.


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