Press Release Clean Energy & Ocean Solutions Aerospace & Mechatronics

Hanwha Vice Chairman Dong Kwan Kim Unveils Vision for Decarbonization of Shipping at Davos 2024

January 17, 2024
  • Accelerating global decarbonization by expanding the clean energy value chain to encompass production, storage, and transportation
  • Building and operating green vessels to drive demand for decarbonization technology in shipping and shipbuilding
Hanwha Group Vice Chairman Dong Kwan Kim speaks at World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting 2024 in Davos, Switzerland.

Hanwha Group Vice Chairman Dong Kwan (DK) Kim speaks at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting 2024 in Davos, Switzerland. Image source: World Economic Forum

Dong Kwan (DK) Kim, Vice Chairman of Hanwha Group, unveiled a new vision for the decarbonization of shipping and introduced Hanwha’s plans to build a zero-emission gas carrier. Powered entirely by alternative fuels, the new vessel will be an industry first — developed using Hanwha’s proprietary green technology. Speaking at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Kim emphasized the importance of global collaboration to bring such green technologies to fruition and grow market demand.

Hanwha has a strong footprint in clean energy, with a value chain covering the production of solar, hydrogen, and wind energy as well as clean energy storage systems. This announcement further advances Hanwha’s commitment to a stronger clean energy value chain, which includes carbon-free transport in shipping.

“Hanwha is challenging existing industry frameworks, spearheading new innovations, and paving the way for maritime decarbonization,” said Dong Kwan (DK) Kim, Vice Chairman of Hanwha Group. “We’re taking a holistic approach to the energy transition, driving disruptive change not only in the production and storage of clean energy but in transportation as well. Advancing green ship technology and establishing a robust clean energy value chain will help us gain ground in our journey toward net zero.”

At a session titled “The First Fossil-Free Ship on the Water,” Kim shared Hanwha’s blueprint for the development of a carbon-free vessel powered by alternative fuels such as ammonia. As existing internal combustion engines require 5% to 15% of pilot fuel, diesel, for the purpose of ignition, building a vessel free of carbon emissions requires a fundamentally different approach. This is why Hanwha is developing an ammonia-powered gas turbine to replace conventional engines, thus eliminating the need for pilot fuel.

Hanwha Group Vice Chairman Dong Kwan Kim speaks at World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting 2024 in Davos, Switzerland.

Hanwha Group Vice Chairman Dong Kwan (DK) Kim presents Hanwha’s blueprint for the development of a carbon-free vessel powered by alternative fuels

To achieve carbon-free electrification, Hanwha also plans to install hydrogen fuel cells with energy storage systems (ESS) as the vessel’s auxiliary source of power. An integrated ammonia cracker will produce the hydrogen required for the fuel cells on board.

Kim also announced plans to own and operate the newly developed green ships to bring the technology to maturity. Deep-sea vessels are capital-intensive investments. They take anywhere from two to three years to build and remain in service for two to three decades, making it extremely difficult for shipowners to invest in budding technologies. By demonstrating the benefits of green ship technology, Hanwha aims to lower the barriers for shipowner investment and drive demand.

In November, Hanwha Ocean joined the World Economic Forum's First Movers Coalition (FMC) , a leading global initiative supported by 13 government partners that represent over 50% of global GDP. The FMC aims to harness the purchasing power of the world’s leading companies to create guaranteed early markets for advanced technologies within hard-to-abate sectors, including shipping, steel, chemicals, and aviation. As one of the 95 members, comprising top global companies and non-profit organizations, Hanwha aims to create new partnerships and pilot programs to build sustained momentum for the adoption and commercialization of green ship technology.

“We are thrilled to welcome Hanwha to the First Movers Coalition, marking a significant step in our collective journey towards a net-zero future. Hanwha’s commitment underscores the critical role of innovative collaboration in accelerating the decarbonization of the shipping industry,” said Rob van Riet, Interim Head of the FMC. “Together, we are poised to make impactful strides in reducing emissions and setting new standards for global shipping.”

Hanwha Group Vice Chairman Dong Kwan Kim speaks at World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting 2024 in Davos, Switzerland.

The decarbonization of shipping is seen as integral in the journey to net zero, as nearly 90% of all globally traded goods are shipped by sea, accounting for 3% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

As a strategic partner of the WEF, Hanwha is involved in multiple climate action initiatives. Kim has participated in the WEF Annual Meeting every year since 2010 . In 2013, he was selected as a Young Global Leader (YGL) by the WEF.

Hanwha Group

Founded in 1952, Hanwha has grown quickly by anticipating and responding to changing business environments with a balanced business portfolio that includes energy & materials, aerospace, finance and retail & services. Our expertise and synergy in key areas have catapulted us into the seventh-largest business in South Korea and a Fortune Global 500 company. Hanwha continues to grow rapidly as we strive to pursue global leadership in all of our businesses. We are building a robust foundation for sustainable development and a brighter future for everyone.

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Hanwha Ocean

Hanwha Ocean is a leading global company with extensive expertise and experience in the shipbuilding and offshore industry. Boasting the world’s most competitive LNG carriers built with eco-friendly and highly efficient technology, the company has continuously pioneered new businesses since 1973, producing a vast range of vessels, including commercial ships, drillships, and specialty ships. Hanwha Ocean will be at the forefront of pioneering advanced marine solutions for decarbonization and further expand Hanwha’s green energy ecosystem to create positive, sustainable change throughout the world.

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