The companies previously announced entering into a definitive agreement in connection with the investment on January 6, 2021. SK Group brings significant presence and leadership throughout the Asia’s energy industry and a commitment to a sustainable future. Plug Power provides our global leadership in hydrogen fuel cell systems, fueling stations and green hydrogen generation. This partnership represents a powerful team to accelerate the growth of the hydrogen economy in Asian markets.
In January 2019, the South Korea government announced the Hydrogen Economy Roadmap through 2040, with ambitious goals, including: over 5MM tons of hydrogen per year, over 6MM fuel cell EVs, 1,200 refilling stations and 15 GW of fuel cell power generation, and expects the cumulative economic value of its hydrogen economy to reach ~$40 billion by 2040. Plug Power has proven its ability to scale a hydrogen business in North America as a global leader in the hydrogen economy. The opportunity to partner with SK presents an attractive and timely opportunity to establish a foothold in this market with one of South Korea’s leading industrial conglomerates.
“Plug Power has been aggressively building out the hydrogen economy in North America, and it is clear that our partner, SK Group, shares the same vision to build out a big hydrogen economy in Asia,” said Andy Marsh, CEO of Plug Power.
“SK will maximize the synergy between the two companies in the global hydrogen market by combining SK's domestic and foreign energy infrastructure, business capabilities, and plug-power's world-class hydrogen business portfolio and technology,” said Hyeongwook Choo, President & CEO of SK E&S.
SK Group, the third largest conglomerate in South Korea with its largest businesses primarily involved in energy industries, is committed to build sustainable green energy value chains in Korea and Asian markets. As such, SK Group is a highly attractive strategic capital investor for Plug Power’s established strategy for building out the hydrogen economy and accelerating expansion into Asian markets.
Going forward, SK and Plug Power are set to form a joint venture company to build the hydrogen ecosystem in Korea and jointly make inroads into Asian markets. The goal of the Asia JV is to establish a gigafactory in Korea by 2023 to produce fuel cells and electrolyzers, and later provide them in broader Asian markets with a substantial cost reduction.
SK Group owns approximately 9.6% of the issued and outstanding shares of Plug Power’s common stock immediately following the investment. This investment represents the largest U.S. clean energy PIPE in the last 20 years (based on the PrivateRaise PIPE database for transactions that have closed and includes common stock, preferred stock, convertible preferred stock and convertible debt).