THP-E208: South Korea’s Nuclear Hydrogen, Hydrogen Buses Pulled Out Of The Station And Could A Hydrogen Fund Go Public?

April 24, 2023 • Paul Rodden • Season: 2023 • Episode: 208

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Welcome to The Hydrogen Podcast!

In episode 208, South Korea partners with Bloom and looks to nuclear hydrogen, Solaris Bus receives a big order, and United H2 Limited looks to go public at the end of this year. I’ll go over all of this on today’s hydrogen podcast.

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Paul Rodden



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South Korea partners with Bloom and looks to nuclear hydrogen, Solaris Bus receives a big order, and United H2 Limited looks to go public at the end of this year. I’ll go over all of this on today’s hydrogen podcast.

So the big questions in the energy industry today are, how is hydrogen the primary driving force behind the evolution of energy? Where’s capital being deployed for hydrogen projects globally? And where are the best investment opportunities for early adopters who recognize the importance of hydrogen? I will address the critical issues and give you the information you need to deploy capital. Those are the questions will unlock the potential of hydrogen, and this podcast will give you the answers. My name is Paul Rodden, and welcome to the hydrogen podcast.

In an article in h2 view, Charlie Currie writes USNC, Hyundai, SK E&S target nuclear hydrogen production in South Korea. Charlie writes Nuclear hydrogen production is set to be at the centre of the focus of a new collaboration between Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation (USNC), Hyundai Engineering and SK E&S. Under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the three companies plan to construct a “Hydrogen Micro Hub at SK E&S’ headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, that will integrate solid oxide electrolysis cells (SOEC) and electricity and steam produced by USNC’s Micro-Modular™ Reactor (MMR®). SK E&C are set to establish the nuclear power-based hydrogen production system using US-based Bloom Energy’s SOEC technology, while Hyundai Engineering will oversee the MMR-related balance of plant and EPC tasks. Bloom Energy, last year (2022), reported “record-setting efficiencies” in hydrogen production during testing of its solid oxide electrolyser at a nuclear facility in the US. As part of the agreement, the partners will jointly conduct R&D on the MMR-SOEC integrated plant over the next five years, to examine how to establish a competitive hydrogen production system for the potential verification of the hydrogen production process.

Hyundai Engineering and USNC say the micro modular nuclear power plant can generate high-temperature steam, enabling the use of SOEC operating at high temperatures that will maximise hydrogen production efficiency with less energy. SK E&S has said it successfully tested hydrogen production through electrolysis using a 120kW SOEC facility at the Bloom SK Fuel Cell manufacturing plant in Gumi, Gyeongsanbuk-do, South Korea, in cooperation with Bloom Energy and Bloom SK Fuel Cell. “SOEC is a good partner that can take advantage MMR’s advantages by operating at high-temperatures and producing high-efficiency hydrogen with minimal energy consumptions,” said Park Kyung-il, CEO of SK E&S. Francesco Venneri, CEO of USNC, added, “The Hydrogen Micro Hub is an efficient and economical hydrogen production plant that can produce hydrogen on a scale at the local site.” Okay, so some more very interesting nuclear hydrogen news, this time coming out of South Korea. And it’s also just another example of how key players can come together to form these new collaborations and develop these micro hubs.

Now, I’m not entirely sure just how much of a hub This is, since they don’t list any kind of off taker, which is usually one of the most important portions of these projects. But being that it’s South Korea and already has a bit of a hydrogen infrastructure, finding off takers may not be that big of an issue. Next in a press release from Solaris bus, Solaris Bus & Coach was just awarded a record order for the delivery of hydrogen buses. The customer is Güstrow-based German carrier Rebus Regionalbus, responsible for operating public transportation in the Rostock region. The manufacturer will deliver a total of 52 hydrogen buses, 47 of which are 12-meter vehicles and five are articulated models. The contract is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2024. In a quote from Javier Iriarte, CEO of Solaris bus and coach, Solaris has the widest range of zero-emission vehicles of any manufacturer in Europe.

This, combined with our years of experience, provides great support for our customers in the process of transitioning to zero-emission public transportation. We believe that the future of this transformation lies in the synergy of different technologies. In this particular case, it was hydrogen that proved to be the best possible solution. I’m glad that Solaris hydrogen buses will soon become a symbol of sustainable mobility in the Rostock region. Ultra-modern hydrogen fuel cell units will be installed in both ordered bus models – 70 kW in the 12-meter version, and 100 kW in the articulated model. The hydrogen system components will feature the highest safety systems available on the market. The hydrogen Solaris buses will be equipped with a Solaris High Power traction battery, the task of which will be to support the fuel cell in moments of peak power demand. The driving unit of the vehicles will be an electric central motor with a power of (respectively) 160 and 240 kW. The ordered Urbino hydrogen will also be equipped with a heat pump. Along with the new buses, two hydrogen refueling stations will be built at two depots in Güstrow and Bad Doberan. The carrier’s goal is to operate local public transportation based on hydrogen technology. Solaris is one of the European leaders in e-mobility solutions.

The manufacturer’s hydrogen offering is an increasingly important part of its zero-emission portfolio – as interest in the technology among European carriers grows month by month. Until now, Solaris has already delivered more than 100 hydrogen Urbino units to transport operators from Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Poland. Further 100 hydrogen units are in the production process. The articulated version of Solaris hydrogen bus, which was also on order from Regionalbus Rostock, is the latest model in Solaris’ portfolio. The Urbino 18 hydrogen had a launch in September 2022. Okay, so more hydrogen, public transportation going into Europe. And this is something that I would really like to start seeing happen in the US. And what this press release shows is an answer to what a lot of people say, which is, well, we need the cities to have a hydrogen infrastructure before we can bring in any kind of hydrogen transportation network. Well to combat that issue, two hydrogen refueling stations or going into the region.

So effectively, you don’t have to worry about a chicken and egg scenario, both can be developed at the same time. Next, in an article in Hydrogen conglomerate United H2 eyes London IPO and q4 of 2023. United H2 Limited (UHL), an Aussie company describing itself as the world’s largest and most diversified hydrogen conglomerate, is getting ready to list on the London Stock Exchange in the fourth quarter of 2023. Sydney-based UHL, an investor in 37 hydrogen projects and companies, plans to support each of its portfolio companies “to deliver their own liquidity events” or initial public offerings (IPOs). The first one to enter the spotlight is automotive company H2X Global Ltd, which specialises in hydrogen-powered trucks, utes, buses and generators. UHL announced in a statement on Thursday that it will carry out a pre-IPO capital hike via the VCEX marketplace to raise some AUD 1 million (USD 670,000/EUR 610,000). Having already attracted investment interest above that level, the company expects this “high-demand placement” to be oversubscribed. The idea behind the capital raise is for UHL to secure funds for investments in its group of companies in order to boost the valuation of its portfolio prior to the planned IPO in London. UHL says that its current “conservative” valuation of AUD 20 million has only been attributed to nine of the 37 companies and projects it holds equity in.

The conglomerate intends to start the process of seeking a listing “on a favourable exchange” at the beginning of May. It said in a statement it “believes the hydrogen industry has matured to a stage where the market is ready for United H2 Limited to go public.” The current portfolio of the conglomerate covers the entire hydrogen market, from production through to end-use. In addition to H2X Global, UHL will focus on eight other advanced businesses: Those are National h2, which is a plastic to hydrogen specialist, H2I technology which is the developer of a hydrogen injection technology for diesel engines, Aviation h2 jet engines conversion expert, Poseidon Marine h2, which is a multi fuel vessels developer, Patriot hydrogen which is a waste of hydrogen unit supplier, Titan hydrogen, which is a fuel cell technology developer, Iconic EV, which is a vehicle conversion firm and Pure Biochar biochar producer.

Furthermore, UHL points at four emerging companies and projects that it plans to support, namely Power Hydrogen, Voyager H2, LibertyAir and Trojan Hydrogen. UHL’s objective is to expand its portfolio to more than 75 businesses next year. Okay, so some really interesting insights on how to develop a fully fleshed out hydrogen portfolio. And I plan to keep a close eye on UHL to see if they do in fact go forward with getting listed on the London public exchange in q4 of this year. And I’m also curious to see how their portfolio advances over the coming year.

All right, that’s it for me, everyone. If you have a second, I would really appreciate it. If you could leave a good review on whatever platform it is that you listen to Apple podcasts, Spotify, Google, YouTube, whatever it is, that would be a tremendous help to the show. And as always, if you ever have any feedback, you’re welcome to email me directly at And as always, take care. Stay safe. I’ll talk to you later.

Hey, this is Paul. I hope you liked this podcast. If you did and want to hear more. I’d appreciate it if you would either subscribe to this channel on YouTube, or connect with your favorite platform through my website at Thanks for listening. I very much appreciate it. Have a great day.