Industry leaders, policymakers and key decision-makers discussed the future of energy and the implications for the Australia-Korea relationship at the recent 40th AKBC-KABC Joint Meeting in Sydney.

The annual joint meeting of the Australia-Korea Business Council (AKBC) and the Korea-Australia Business Council (KABC) is the premier event for those involved in Australia-Korea trade and investment.

This year’s event attracted more than 200 delegates, including a large business delegation from Korea led by Jeong-Woo Choi, Chairman of the Korea-Australia Business Council and Chairman of POSCO, which is the world’s fourth-largest largest steelmaker and Australia’s single largest corporate customer. The meeting was hosted by the Hon. Simon Crean, Chairman of the Australia-Korea Business Council.

Also in attendance were Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for Korea and AKBC Board Member Daniel Kim, and TIQ Senior Advisor Michael Kocken.

Mr Kim chaired the meeting’s first plenary session on the ‘Future of Energy’, which focused on hydrogen. It featured experts from Australian Gas Infrastructure Group, EY, Hanwha Energy, Hyundai Motor Company, Macquarie Capital and POSCO Research Institute.

Mr Kim said that Queensland has helped Korea tackle its energy and resource security challenge for decades with a reliable supply of hard coking coal for steelmaking, base metals and LNG, and that hydrogen presented new opportunities for partnerships.

‘The future of hydrogen is now,’ Mr Kim said.

‘There is renewed interest and a shared commitment between Australia and Korea to cooperate to advance the global hydrogen economy for mutual benefit.

‘In January this year, Korea released its Hydrogen Economy Roadmap of Korea, which outlines a plan to increase the production of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles to 6.2 million, increase the number of hydrogen refilling stations to 1,200 and boost the supply of fuel-cell power generation to 15 gigawatts – all by 2040.

‘This will generate demand for 5.3 million tonnes of hydrogen, with 1.2 million tonnes needing to be imported, which creates a tremendous opportunity Queensland.’

Mr Kim said Queensland was also actively engaging with the global hydrogen economy.

‘The Queensland Government has released the Queensland Hydrogen Industry Strategy, which aims to put Queensland at the forefront of renewable hydrogen production in Australia by 2030, and is funding a number of green hydrogen development projects,’ he said.

‘A senior Korean delegation led by Korean Congressman Won-Wook Lee visited Queensland as part of an Australian tour in August this year to explore the opportunities to collaborate in relation to hydrogen.

‘It was a great privilege to chair the panel discussion in Sydney and help advance those conversations.’

Korea is Queensland’s third-largest trading partner, and merchandise exports to Korea increased by 19.9% to be worth $9.5 billion in 2018–2019.

Renewables and biofuels are identified as a growing export market in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

TIQ was a proud silver sponsor of the 40th AKBC-KABC Joint Meeting.