SK Engineering & Construction and California-based Bloom Energy signed an agreement by which the Korean firm will distribute Bloom Energy Serve solid oxide fuel cell systems in Korea. The signing was made at Bloom Energy Corporate Headquarters in Sunnyvale, California, on November 19. Attending the event were former U.S. Secretary of State and General Colin Powell, Venture capitalist John Doerr, Bloom Energy Chairman & CEO KR Sridhar and SK E&C President & CEO Ahn Jae-hyun.
Bloom Energy and SK E&C have maintained a close working relationship since late 2017 when the two companies bid successfully for Korea’s first solid oxide fuel cell installation in Bundang southeast of Seoul. The 8.3 MW Bloom Energy Server solution for a Korean utility is complete and will begin commercial operations later in 2018. The project utilizes a highly innovative “Power Tower” design, and is believed to be the world’s most energy-dense power plant, generating one megawatt for every 787 square feet.
Bloom Energy, which was listed on New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in July, is a global leading manufacturer of fuel cell systems. Bloom Energy President and CEO KR Sridhar has participated in NASA’s Mars project and undertook research into how life could be made sustainable on Mars. Sridhar led a project that built a Mars oxygen production cell. Some of technologies developed by Sridhar for NASA were adopted late for the creation of Bloom Energy fuel cell systems.
Bloom Energy’s fuel cell technology delivers clean, highly reliable, resilient, ‘Always-On’ electric power with low CO2 emissions and virtually no criteria air pollutants.
The elimination of criteria air pollutants (‘micro-dust’) that cause smog and respiratory diseases is a significant priority for Korea which still highly depends on coal power.
The company’s product, the Bloom Energy Server has 50% more electricity efficiency than conventional fuel cells and produces little white smoke and fine dust compared to coal-fired power. Because it has low noise, low risk, and high availability of land, it is possible to install it in urban centers. Energy Server is currently installed and operated commercially in excess of 300MW.
SK E&C is planning to work on localization of fuel-cell components in partnership with small and medium-sized companies in order to create social value as well as advancing into the domestic market along with Bloom Energy, said SK E&C President & CEO Ahn Jae-hyun. In the long term, he said the firm is considering establishing an Energy Server assembly plant in Korea.
“The global power generation market is moving drastically from centralized generation to decentralized generation and towards environmentally friendly technologies. Accordingly, SK E&C is developing the fuel cell business with a long term vision to transform from an EPC contractor of large power plants into a distributed energy resource utility,” said CEO Ahn. “I have no doubt that we will achieve success in the quickly growing Korean market, and truly hope that such cooperation will continue in the global market, including the Asia Pacific region.”
“The leadership of SK Group shares our passionate belief that bringing clean and reliable electric power to people of South Korea can be good for business as well as for the environment,” said Bloom Energy CEO KR Sridhar. “SK Group’s vision, leadership and technical capabilities combined with Bloom Energy’s world-leading technology will make for a powerful partnership,” he said.
“Together, Bloom Energy and SK form a powerful team, bringing the best of Korean and American innovation together to deliver a powerful new approach to meeting the energy needs of Korea, and one that will benefit its environment, economy and society for generations to come,” said former Secretary of State Colin Powell.
A fuel cell produces electricity through a chemical reaction, but without combustion. It converts hydrogen and oxygen into water, and in the process also creates electricity. It’s an electro-chemical energy conversion device that produces electricity, water, and heat.
SK E&C has pursued sustainable growth and stability, along with its consistent efforts to achieve the happiness of humanity and a better world, and gained a good reputation for its excellent technologies and construction capability in the various industries, such as power plants, civil infrastructure, architecture, and housing.
SK E&C will convert from quantitative growth to qualitative growth, and from Global EPC to Global TSP (Total Solution Provider) and will make a leap to realize the vision of “Global Top Tier City Developer & Infrastructure Builder.” SK E&C is renowned for its plant business around the world, from feasibility studies to design, procurement, construction, and all cycles to provide customer value as a Total Solution Provider, upgrading the status of the company.
In Korea, the company contributes to economic growth and industrial development by diversifying its business from electricity, logistics, energy, chemical, and batteries to renewable energy and semiconductors. In the world, the company seeks to create the best value while competing with advanced enterprises on even ground, embracing all business areas of the value chain, including oil and gas plants, global plant EPC projects, development projects, and O&M projects.