La Corea del Sud distribuisce miliardi di won in sussidi per il carburante a idrogeno per sostenere i proprietari delle stazioni di rifornimento in difficoltà

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South Korea’s Ministry of Environment has announced that it has allocated 8.2 billion won ($5.9m) in subsidies to 152 hydrogen refuelling station operators to help cover the cost of purchasing H2.

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The fuel purchase subsidy, which was originally introduced in 2021, is paid twice a year following a review of the income and costs associated with hydrogen refuelling stations during the previous six months.

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On average, each company is set to receive payments amounting to 54 million won ($38,968) from today. The support is reportedly set to last until 2025, although this could be extended if South Korea’s hydrogen vehicle market continues to stagnate.

This latest subsidy allocation is likely to have been fuelled by an H2 supply crisis in November last year.

Following a breakdown of three grey hydrogen production facilities at Hyundai Steel, which supplies 20-30% of the H2 for transport in South Korea’s central region, three quarters of refuelling stations in the country were forced to temporarily shut down — leaving fuel-cell vehicle drivers with nowhere to fill up their tanks.

Meanwhile, in July, the country’s largest operator of hydrogen refuelling stations Hynet sparked fury as it hiked its prices from around 9,794 won ($7.72) per kg to around 13,112 won ($10.33).

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The refuelling station operator in March saw its attempts to raise capital via a cash injection from leading shareholder Kogas shot down, with speculation that the loss-making company would have to seek government support.

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However, despite the South Korean government also subsidising the cost of buying hydrogen-powered cars and easing safety restrictions on refuelling sites in an effort to reach its target for 300,000 fuel-cell vehicles on the road and 660 filling stations by 2030, this has not been enough to bolster a flagging market.

In January this year, only two fuel-cell passenger cars were sold across the entire country, although this increased to 331 in February as regional subsidy schemes were finalised.

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