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Parts and materials technology development
Korea opens first hydrogen charging station for construction & industrial equipment 2023-09-07

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) held the completion ceremony on September 6 for Korea’s first hydrogen charging station built exclusively for construction and industrial machinery at the Korea Construction Equipment Technology Institute (KOCETI)’s comprehensive testing center.

MOTIE noted that the completion of this charging station will accelerate the distribution of hydrogen mobility in the market for off-road special equipment such as excavators and forklift trucks as well.

Currently, hydrogen charging stations can charge only hydrogen-powered cars that have passed safety verification, and other hydrogen-powered vehicles like forklift trucks and construction machinery must receive approval for special exemption in demonstration prior to charging. Accordingly, MOTIE is pushing various regulatory improvement measures related to hydrogen mobility following its announcement of the Hydrogen Safety Management Roadmap 2.0 in May.

MOTIE is providing support for the research and development of hydrogen-powered heavy equipment based on the view that hydrogen-powered heavy equipment is better suited for storing large-capacity energy and require shorter charging time (3-5 min.) compared to battery-powered electric construction equipment, and thus more apt in replacing the conventional diesel-powered construction and industrial equipment. The charging station is a part of this effort, built to enable the charging of special equipment like hydrogen-powered forklift trucks through a process of regulatory sandbox special exemption for demonstration projects.

A MOTIE official stated that “hydrogen energy is in the limelight as a next-generation eco-friendly energy source for large-sized mobility like buses, construction machinery and ships” and added that “the Ministry will examine all necessary aspects required for the commercialization of a wide range of hydrogen mobility, including hydrogen-powered construction machinery, and expand relevant support.”