The South Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries has announced that the country will develop the world’s first all-round test platform for alternative marine propulsion systems, including electric and hydrogen applications. The project is backed by an investment of US$32.3m and is due to be completed by 2025. The ministry has selected the Korea Maritime Institute and the Korea Institute of Science and Technology as the research partners for the upcoming project.
Following the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) strengthening of greenhouse gas regulations and the implementation of the upcoming EU Emissions Trading System (EU-ETS), the Korean authorities state that global maritime markets now need to shift from using existing and traditional forms of propulsion to more eco-friendly options.
With the project set to start in May 2021, the research institutes will promote the development of practical technologies by building an eco-friendly test platform alongside the development of LNG-ammonia mixed fuels for ships.
Alongside the vessel testbed, there are plans for a 5,000m2 test and research center on the Mokpo South Port redevelopment site. Upon completion of the project in 2025, sustainable shipping companies and research institutes will be able to verify their own technology at the facility.
“We expect this project to greatly improve the conditions for developing eco-friendly vessel-related technologies,” said Gu Do-yung, director of the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries. “We will do our best to promote the development of environmentally friendly vessel technologies in Korea and contribute to the development of carbon-neutral societies by pursuing business startups and completion without delay.”