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11 October 2023 | News

HD Hyundai invests €45 million in Elcogen

Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering, part of the Hyundai Group, invested €45 million in Elcogen's Solid Oxide technology to further deepen cooperation in zero-emission power generation systems and green hydrogen production.

HD Hyundai invests €45 million in Elcogen
Elcogen CEO Enn Õunpuu. Copyright Elcogen, Author Raigo Pajula

Hyundai's investment follows extensive testing of all technologies available on the market. Subsequently, an R&D cooperation agreement was signed with Elcogen in January 2023, focusing on further testing of Elcogen's technology and development of systems.

Following this investment, Hyundai and Elcogen intend to strengthen further their collaboration with a focus on marine propulsion systems and stationary power generation based on Elcogen’s proprietary solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) and green hydrogen production based Elcogen’s solid oxide electrolyser cell (SOEC) technology. This investment will be used to expand Elcogen’s manufacturing capacity as it continues to build the company’s new factory facility in Tallinn, Estonia, with a manufacturing capacity of up to 360MW to meet increasing demand for its products.

This forms another critical step in realising Hyundai's vision for the next generation of marine propulsion. As part of Hyundai’s “Ocean Transformation” vision which it announced in January of this year, Kisun Chung, CEO of HD Hyundai and HD KSOE, described four key visions. One of tem was Ocean Mobility targeting next-generation digital ships that are eco-friendly as an answer to ocean sustainability. KSOE leads this part of Hyundai’s vision. Shortly after that announcement, KSOE concluded its MOU with Elcogen, which sets out how the companies will work together to design and prototype test large-capacity SOFC systems for use in ships and power generation. KSOE and Elcogen also intend to work together to manufacture systems in South Korea, and further strengthen the companies' collaboration in SOFC and SOEC technology.

HD Hyundai have chosen Elcogen’s SOFC and SOEC technology because of

  • its flexibility to produce electrical energy from a variety of fuels such as hydrogen, natural gas, ammonia, methanol, and biofuel
  • its suitability for ship engines and cogeneration as it is highly energy efficient and can use waste heat generated from high-temperature operation (600~1000℃)
  • it is considered the most advanced among all fuel cells developed to date.

This investment forms part of a larger investment by KSOE, demonstrating its commitment to delivering its Ocean Transformation strategy. As part of HD Hyundai’s progress towards marine propulsion, its SOFC systems will initially target providing auxiliary power on-board vessels before scaling up to provide propulsion.

Chris Nash, Chairman of Elcogen, said: “We are delighted to welcome HD Hyundai as a close working partner and now as a shareholder. I believe this is a vote of confidence in our technology from a world leader in industrial innovation and shipbuilding. We look forward to building on this relationship as we continue working together.”

Enn Õunpuu, CEO of Elcogen: “There is a huge amount of pressure for heavy industries to decarbonise and meet net zero targets, not least maritime transport. We are delighted that HD Hyundai has built upon our strategic partnership to invest directly into Elcogen, recognising the key role our proprietary Solid Oxide technology will have in leading the world to net zero, providing a clear and external validationof Elcogen.”

Kisun Chung, CEO of HD Hyundai/KSOE: “We expect this investment, and the strategic collaboration HD Hyundai and Elcogen will build together, will lay the cornerstone for realising the sustainable future energy ecosystem HD Hyundai envisions, which includes developing next generation clean energy technologies and expanding the value chain capabilities of future core energy sources, including hydrogen.”