The Korea Herald


Hyundai Oilbank boosts ESG performance

By Yu Ji-soo

Published : June 2, 2023 - 18:16

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Employees at Hyundai Oilbank pose for a photo to promote the company's ESG 7 Challenge in Seoul, Friday. (Hyundai Oilbank) Employees at Hyundai Oilbank pose for a photo to promote the company's ESG 7 Challenge in Seoul, Friday. (Hyundai Oilbank)

Hyundai Oilbank is ramping up efforts to fulfill its environmental, social and governance goals by accelerating its sustainable businesses and contributing to social enrichment, the company said Friday.

As part of the efforts, the company is set to build an eco-friendly power plant that uses both liquefied natural gas and blue hydrogen as fuel.

Hyundai E&F, the oil company's power generation affiliate, will build a power plant with a capacity of 230 metric tons of steam per hour and 290 megawatts of electricity, the company said. The company aims to kick off operation of the facility in 2025, it added.

The steam and electricity produced at the facility will be supplied to the company’s affiliates, including Hyundai Chemical and Hyundai Shell Base Oil.

The company said that not only will the envisioned plant produce LNG, 30 percent of the fuel can be supplied with blue hydrogen, produced by its Daesan plant in Seosan, South Chungcheong Province.

The oil refiner is also diving into white biotechnology – a process that uses living cells from plants, enzymes and microorganisms to produce value-added chemicals, materials and fuel at a lower carbon cost – fostering it as one of its future businesses.

Under its white biotech blueprint, the company plans to build a next-generation biodiesel plant with an annual production capacity of 130,000 tons this year, on a 10,000 square-meter site at the Daesan plant. By 2024, the company will convert some of its facilities at the Daesan plant into manufacturing equipment for hydrogenated vegetable oil, the company said. HVO is an eco-friendly energy source produced by adding hydrogen to non-edible raw materials.

Hyundai Oilbank said it aims to produce bio jet fuel using HVO to lead the global market.

In the third phase of its blueprint, the company aims to use by-products of white biotech processes, such as glycerin, as part of its effort to build a white biotech ecosystem with a production capacity of 1 million tons per year by 2030.

The company’s efforts to boost its environmental, social and governance goals is not limited to eco-friendly business projects -- it also participates in various social contribution activities.

For over a decade, Hyundai Oilbank executives and employees have been helping those in need by collecting 1 percent of their monthly salaries under the 1 Percent Nanum Foundation -- a first for an industrial conglomerate.

Hyundai Oilbank is also expanding opportunities for the culturally underprivileged to enjoy culture and art. Notably, the company has been sponsoring the Dream Concert since 1995 -- Korea’s largest K-pop music festival -- which has contributed to K-pop as a genre becoming a global sensation and entering mainstream pop culture.

Since 2019, it has also supported the production of “barrier-free” films with the Korean Film Producers Association. Barrier free refers to providing subtitles and screen commentary, which allow those with auditory or visual impairments, the elderly and non-Korean speakers the opportunity to enjoy Korean movies as well.

Recently, the company successfully completed the "ESG 7 Challenge." The challenge is an internal campaign in which executives and employees choose eco-friendly activities carry out in their daily lives. Through this campaign, the company has carried out seven missions, including eliminating food waste, properly disposing of recyclables and using reusable bottles.