Building on Alberta’s strong relationship with the Republic of Korea, commonly known as South Korea, the ministers had productive meetings about Korea’s hydrogen ecosystem with SK Group, Kwangshin Machinery Co, Lotte Chemical and POSCO Steel.

These discussions advance Alberta’s path to become a world hydrogen leader – an industry that could be worth up to $11 trillion globally by 2050 – and continue to supply responsible energy products to the world.

“With Alberta’s long history of responsible energy development, we are hopeful about ways to help diversify our economy and create new jobs for Albertans while further reducing our emissions. I am pleased we were able to meet with Korean companies like POSCO to learn about the exciting opportunities that could exist for Alberta companies to partner with Korean companies on the hydrogen economy.”

Brian Jean, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Northern Development

“I am committed to strengthening partnerships to grow Alberta’s international trade and was interested in the potential of Korea’s hydrogen technologies. We discussed with major Korean firms, like SK Group and POSCO, how Alberta’s advantages could help drive growing hydrogen ecosystems in Alberta and Korea.”   

Rajan Sawhney, Minister of Trade, Immigration and Multiculturalism

The ministers had extensive discussions with executives from POSCO, one of the world’s top steel companies. POSCO, which produces almost three times as much steel annually as Canada, explained the science behind and their long-term plans for developing low-carbon, hydrogen-based “green steel.” POSCO is looking for global partners to join its hydrogen-based alliance of companies interested in developing green steel. POSCO expressed willingness to enter into discussions with Alberta research institutes and agencies to explore the possibilities to utilize Alberta’s hydrogen hub in their long-term plans.

“POSCO research and development is looking for cooperation in the field of clean hydrogen and hydrogen ironmaking (HyREX). We are open to finding partners to join in the research and development of hydrogen-based steel. POSCO is aware of Alberta’s commitment to hydrogen and is aware of Alberta’s potential as a global producer of hydrogen. POSCO views the hydrogen economy as a future growth engine.”

Kisoo Kim, senior executive vice-president, POSCO

SK Group, which has a presence in Alberta, runs many hydrogen vehicle fuelling stations throughout South Korea. The ministers toured one of SK’s roadside hydrogen fuelling stations and watched Koreans stop to fill their passenger vehicles with clean non-polluting hydrogen. Kwangshin makes the industrial compressors that run Korea’s growing hydrogen ecosystem. Both SK and Kwangshin indicated an interest in helping Alberta develop hydrogen fuelling systems.

The ministers also met with Lotte Chemical to discuss opportunities in ammonia and hydrogen.

These meetings were an opportunity to understand the interest that South Korea has in exploring trade, investment and energy opportunities in Alberta. The Government of Alberta provides pathfinding services for foreign direct investment into the province as a way to streamline communications and encourage companies to make investments here.

Quick facts

  • In 2022, Alberta exported approximately $1.5 billion worth of goods to South Korea.
  • Alberta currently produces about 2.5 million tonnes of hydrogen per year, making it the largest hydrogen producer in Canada.
  • Hydrogen in Alberta is predominantly used in industrial operations, such as bitumen upgrading, oil refining and petrochemical manufacturing.
  • Third-party estimates show that Alberta can be one of the lowest-cost producers of hydrogen in the world.
  • There has already been interest in growing Alberta’s hydrogen sector, with announcements from major international and domestic companies looking to establish hydrogen production and deployment projects in the province.
  • Alberta’s Hydrogen Roadmap charts a path for the province to become a global hydrogen leader. As part of this, Alberta’s government provided $50 million to create the Clean Hydrogen Centre of Excellence, which is led by Alberta Innovates and recently announced more than $20 million to support 18 new projects to advance innovation in hydrogen use.