Florida, South Korea Join in Hydrogen Research
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Florida and South Korean officials signed a pact to create a hydrogen research hub, set to break ground next month in Polk County, to provide energy for the aerospace industry.
The memorandum of understanding was signed April 26 in Seoul between Gov. Ron DeSantis for the state and its Space Florida (an aerospace economic development agency) and Lee Cheol, CEO of South Korea-based LowCarbon Co. Ltd.
“Our state is taking a bold step toward promoting long-term development in the aerospace and space industry across the entire supply chain,” DeSantis said during a trade mission. “From manufacturing and launching to fuel production, Florida is the global leader in the new space economy.”
The MOU will expire Sept. 30 after the expected groundbreaking on a clean hydrogen facility in June in central Florida’s Polk County, which is located along the Interstate 4 corridor 40 minutes from Tampa and Orlando and just over an hour from Kennedy Space Center.
“Florida is where leading aerospace companies get everything they need to see their new idea take off, and with our strategic partnership with LowCarbon Corp. and Ocean Green Hydrogen we are diversifying opportunities across the fuel supply chain,” Space Florida President Frank DiBello said.
Polk County already is a popular location for aviation and aerospace with 42 such businesses located there in 2020 that produced a combined $41.5 million in gross domestic product for the county.
“Polk County welcomes this innovative company and looks forward to helping it grow to support launch operations in Florida, as well as other uses,” said Sean Malott, CEO of the Central Florida Development Council. “We are poised to continue to help this company flourish and grow.”
The pact identifies Tampa-based Ocean Green Hydrogen Corp., led by Michael Carey, as a hydrogen distributor in the venture and LowCarbon Co. as the hydrogen producer.
Space Florida will facilitate developing and deploying the hydrogen and associated technologies for use in aerospace industry launches.
“As launch cadence continues to increase from Florida, we need to think strategically about our fueling capabilities,” Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez said. “This partnership with LowCarbon Corp. and Ocean Green Hydrogen adds to an ecosystem which allows business to build, launch, recover, refurbish and relaunch, all within the Sunshine State.”
According to the governor’s office, the hydrogen collaboration also will better position Florida in the supply chain for the aerospace and space industries.
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