SEOUL, March 8 (Korea Bizwire) — S-Oil Corp., South Korea’s No. 3 oil refiner, said Monday it is investing 8.2 billion won (US$7.3 million) in a fuel cell developer to diversify its energy portfolio.
The refiner owned by Saudi Aramco said in a regulatory filing that it will acquire a 21 percent stake in Fuel Cell Innovations (FCI) to become its largest shareholder.
FCI, a joint venture between Korea and Saudi Arabia, has more than 40 patents focusing on the solid oxide fuel cell system, which is more efficient than the conventional fuel cells and uses relatively inexpensive nickel.
Fuel cells, which generate electricity from hydrogen, can be integrated into vehicles, ships, generators and other suitable applications without emitting greenhouse gas.
The refiner said the strategic investment is part of its plan to tap into hydrogen, fuel cell and recycling businesses beyond its refinery and petrochemical units by 2030.
S-Oil said FCI will invest up to 100 billion won by 2027 to have over 100 megawatts of annual production capacity, and the two companies will work together to explore the fuel cell market at home and abroad.