South Korean Company to Build Blue Hydrogen Fuel Plant in Polk County, Florida
LowCarbon Hydrogen Corp., a South Korean company, plans to build Florida’s first hydrogen fuel plant on a 10-acre land located in Polk County. The company is set to begin construction on June 6, and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is expected to join the groundbreaking ceremony. The facility will produce “blue hydrogen” made from natural gas sourced from a nearby pipeline. The plant will provide 150 jobs on-site with an average annual salary of $60,000 or more, and it is expected to inject over $100 million into the local economy.
The project has attracted the attention of the Florida Space Agency, which will collaborate with LowCarbon to develop and deploy clean hydrogen and related technologies for aerospace and space industry launch applications. The company has agreed to work with Space Florida to provide the hydrogen required for space operations and fuel for rockets.
In addition to the space industry, hydrogen fuel has other potential uses, including as a power source for cars. South Korean car manufacturer Hyundai already produces cars that use hydrogen fuel and emit only water. However, there are currently no hydrogen fueling stations for alternative fuel vehicles in Florida, according to the U.S. Department of Energy website.
The Biden administration has set aside $750 million for research, development, and demonstration efforts aimed at reducing the cost of producing clean hydrogen. The LowCarbon project may qualify for federal funding, although the company has not requested local funding assistance.
LowCarbon America Corp. owns the property where the hydrogen fuel plant will be built. The land was formerly owned by several phosphate mining companies, including Mosaic. LowCarbon bought the land in July 2022 from Florida Green Recycle LLC.
The partnership between LowCarbon Corporation and Ocean Green Hydrogen LLC will help diversify opportunities across the fuel supply chain in Florida. This strategic partnership will enable businesses to build, launch, recover, refurbish, and relaunch, all within the Sunshine State. As the launch cadence continues to increase from Florida, the state needs to think strategically about its fueling capabilities.