By Kang Yoon-seung
SEJONG, Oct. 22 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's industry ministry said Tuesday it will install hydrogen charging stations throughout the country without any delay in line with its hydrogen policy vision that promotes the cleanest energy for automobiles.
Under the plan, South Korea will finish installation of 310 charging stations for hydrogen fuel cell cars by 2022, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. The number will eventually reach 1,200 units in 2040.
Hydrogen is an environment-friendly alternative to fossil fuels as automobiles running on the resource only create water in the process of generating power. It can be produced by processing LNG or as a byproduct of industrial facilities, including petrochemical plants.
South Korea has been seeking to build a society that harnesses hydrogen as the main source of energy for vehicles and other daily uses. The policy is considered one of the key projects pursued by the Moon Jae-in administration.
"When the country meets the target of supplying 67,000 units of hydrogen cars into the market by 2022, the annual demand for hydrogen will also reach around 30,000 tons," the ministry said in a statement. "We plan to meet such demand by supplying hydrogen through various means."
In detail, the ministry will supply 250 charging stations at large cities across the country, along with 60 units at expressways in 2022.
When completed, drivers will be able to reach charging stations within 30 minutes, which will be shortened to 15 minutes by 2040.
By the end of 2019, South Korea will already be operating 86 stations, it added.
South Korea will also roll out research projects to provide drivers with faster charging solutions, it added.
"Amid the public's rising awareness over the safety of hydrogen, South Korea will bolster related rules and regulations to meet standards of advanced economies," the ministry said in a statement. "We will also open a new organization devoted to maintaining the safety of hydrogen."