The South Korean science ministry announced its intention on June 15th 2021 to commercialize 14 carbon capture utilization and storage products by 2030. That is part of achieving the country’s goal announced in October last year of becoming carbon neutral by 2050, in line with global climate pledges.
According to the Ministry of Science and ICT, carbon capture and utilization technology is still in its early stages of development. The country plans to support the local industry’s research in the technology to commercialize 14 CCUS products within the next decade.
The ministry had put forward a $89.5 million carbon capture investment per year from 2023 for the development of the technology. It also targets to cut the price of captured carbon from current $70 per ton of CO2 to $20 per ton by 2050.
South Korea also targets larger 150 megawatt power plants to further deploy carbon capture technology that is currently applied on small thermal power plants. It also wants to ensure that the technology can be applied on industrial plants to decarbonize the manufacturing of steel, petrochemicals and cement.
Carbon capture is a preferred technology for reducing the emissions of the transport industry via the production of sustainable fuels. CO2 is captured and then used to make methanol for example or other low carbon fuels in order to cut emissions of hard-to-decarbonize industries like aviation or shipping.
The country will also plan to pursue technologies in chemical and biological conversions of carbon dioxide, and carbon mineralization that offer huge opportunities for CO2 reuse.
South Korea is one of many countries in the world to increase investments in sustainable economy solutions. Carbon capture utilization and storage is a fairly new sector of the carbon capture industry so it requires public funding and the right policy stimulus for the CO2 trading and utilization market to be developed on a commercial scale.