Serves as a lever for regional revitalization with next-generation hydrogen compression technology

Leading companies are local small and medium-sized businesses that spearhead the revitalization of the economy and local industries. Gyeongnam Province and Gyeongnam Techno Park provide financial assistance to these enterprises in order to propel the development of critical sectors.

From 2022 to the present, a grand total of nine companies based in Gyeongnam have been designated as leading companies. Those firms that demonstrate exceptional development potential and innovation capabilities will receive intensive support for a period of six years. This undertaking is supported by the Gyeongnam Province and the Ministry of SMEs and Startups.

Through support initiatives, leading companies will contribute to the development of the local key industry ecosystem. <Gyeongnam Domin Ilbo> inquired with nine prominent corporations regarding the trajectory of rejuvenating small and medium-sized enterprises in Gyeongnam and advancing domestic industries.

● Hydrogen industry leader in environmentally sustainable technology = GTC, headquartered in Sanin-myeon, Haman-gun, is an organization that specializes in the design, development, and production of gas compressors. The company was founded in 1975, and its sales are projected to increase significantly in 2022, reaching 40.1 billion won, followed by 19 billion won in 2020 and 26.8 billion won in 2021. It is anticipated that sales will increase to 44 billion won this year.

GTC, an organization that was designated as a prominent company in 2023, is preparing for export expansion, business evaluation consulting, and prototype production.

The growth ladder support project was executed by GTC as one of the most prominent company support initiatives of the year. I commenced prototype production support after receiving consultation regarding collaborative research and development planning and the establishment of a growth strategy.

CEO of GTC Lee Won-jin (55) stated, “At this time, we are not prepared to make it public, so we are exercising caution. However, as a support project, we are manufacturing compressor samples required for special compression.”

Beginning the following year, GTC intends to conduct research and development with collaborative organizations and companies in accordance with its growth strategy and collaboration plan for the current year.

Moreover, CE (Consolidated Standard Certification Mark, signifying compliance with all the stipulations of the EU Council Directive pertaining to safety, health, environment, and consumer protection) is currently being implemented with the aim of broadening export pathways to Europe.

“In order to participate in the hydrogen charging station installation project in Europe, we are working to obtain the certification,” said CEO Lee. “It will also serve as a stepping stone for our future entry into the global market and Europe.”

The hydrogen compression technology developed by GTC has obtained NEP (new product) and NET (new technology) certifications, attesting to its innovative nature. Additionally, the product received an innovative designation from the Public Procurement Service, which served to enhance its credibility.

Delivery of the twenty-four hydrogen compressors from Kohygen and EM Solution to the Korea Automobile Research Institute, Changwon Seongju-dong, Giheung Service Area, and Yeosu was completed in 2021, per the terms of the contract. Subsequent deliveries are anticipated to occur in Ansan, Jinju, Ulsan, and Paju at a later time.

Chief Executive Lee stated, “We have built Korea’s first hydrogen compressor test facility at the factory,” as well as “We are continuing thorough inspections, including running tests for more than 1,000 hours under the same conditions as actual hydrogen charging stations.”

◷ The domestic manufacturing of hydrogen compressors will significantly diminish reliance on imports. ◷ As an industry leader, we have also ventured headfirst into ecological hydrogen production.

We are collaborating with Gyeongnam Energy, a local city gas supplier, to promote green hydrogen production as the lead organization for the Smart Hydrogen Refueling Station (S-HRS) system demonstration project, an energy technology development initiative of the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy and utilizing electrolysis-based environmentally friendly water.

Additionally, Jeju Island was designated as a company involved in a pure green hydrogen production initiative. Jeju Island will commence receiving hydrogen in earnest with the participation of ten organizations, including GTC, Korea Gas Corporation, Doosan Energy, and Hydrogen Energy.

Initially, the majority of hydrogen charging stations constructed in Korea were outfitted with imported components. Given the proliferation of imported facilities, the provision of after-sales service is significantly delayed, even in the event of a component failure.

Representative Lee stated, “Hydrogen is utilized extensively in passenger cars and city buses; however, citizens will be stranded if parts are not supplied and repairs are prolonged; therefore, domestic production is critical.” He emphasized, “We are constructing a supply chain and localizing components.”

Future advancements in the hydrogen sector are being planned by GTC. In addition to developing a vertical compressor, the immediate objective is to commercialize the hybrid variant of the diaphragm compressor.

“In line with the expansion of hydrogen vehicles, we intend to accelerate the local production of high-pressure, large-capacity hydrogen compressors to contribute to cost reduction,” said CEO Lee. “By collaborating with local businesses to develop superior technologies, we will help Gyeongnam become a leader in the hydrogen economy and society.”

According to reporter Ahn Ji-san

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