The Doosan Group (Chairman Park Jeong-won) will lead the revitalization of Korea’s energy industry ecosystem, including nuclear power plants, by actively investing in next-generation energy businesses such as small modular reactors (SMRs), gas turbines, and hydrogen fuel cells.
Doosan announced on May 25 that it planned to invest KRW 5 trillion in energy fields such as SMRs, gas turbines, hydrogen turbines, and hydrogen fuel cells over the next five years.
In particular, Doosan plans to focus on the development of SMRs—which have emerged as one of the pillars of the Korea-U.S. economic and security alliance—and semiconductors and batteries following U.S. President Joe Biden’s visit to Korea. SMRs are next-generation nuclear power plants featuring dramatically improved safety, economy, and operability. In 2020, U.S.-based NuScale became the only company to acquire standard design certification from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).
Doosan Enerbility is taking a step forward through collaboration between Korean and American companies in the SMR field, such as signing an agreement with NuScale Power on April 25 to manufacture the main SMR equipment. “NuScale will develop and design the main equipment, which will then be manufactured by Doosan Enerbility. It will be an alliance between Korean and American companies in the SMR field,” a Doosan Enerbility official explained.
Doosan Enerbility plans to make related investments to revitalize the nuclear power plant ecosystem to start manufacturing the SMR product in the second half of 2023. Along with other Korean investors, Doosan Enerbility made a U.S. $104 million equity investment in NuScale and secured the rights to supply equipment worth billions of dollars. In addition to NuScale Power, the company is discussing participation in manufacturing SMR main equipment with U.S.-based X-energy, which signed an SMR manufacturing design service agreement in September 2021. Doosan Enerbility plans to invest aggressively in expanding production facilities to penetrate the global SMR market and diversify its business.
The gas turbine and hydrogen turbine businesses are also major investment targets for Doosan. Doosan Enerbility is installing a 270MW-class gas turbine—which was successfully developed by the company for the fifth time in the world in 2019—at the Gimpo Combined Heat and Power Plant and is planning to test-operate it beginning next year. Currently, the company is concentrating on the development of an upgraded 380MW-class gas turbine and new investment in the development of hydrogen turbines. The localization rate of parts for gas and hydrogen turbines exceeds 90%, and the investment is expected to help about 340 domestic suppliers.
Investments in the hydrogen business aim to build a lineup of hydrogen fuel cell products. Doosan Fuel Cell started the construction of a 50MW-class solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) plant in the Saemangeum Industrial Complex in April to mass-produce SOFC products. Solid oxide fuel cells utilize the movement of electrons and generate electricity in a few basic steps. The plant's construction is scheduled to be completed with mass production to commence by 2023. Doosan Fuel Cell plans to enter the SOFC market for power generation in 2024 and SOFC for ships in 2025 sequentially.
Doosan also plans to increase investment gradually in the semiconductor business—which it entered in April—by expanding existing factories and constructing new ones. To support this plan, it presented the goal of growing into a key company in Korea’s system semiconductor ecosystem by strengthening Doosan TESNA’s competitiveness as the country’s top semiconductor test company and steadily expanding its business area to a semiconductor post-process company by securing advanced packaging technology in the mid- to long-term.
At the same time, Doosan plans to invest actively in new businesses. In addition to future growth engines such as cooperative robots and hydrogen drones, the company plans to contribute to revitalizing related industrial ecosystems by increasing investment in expansion to new businesses such as high-tech materials for drug storage and 5G antenna materials that are expected to grow.
“As we make new investments centered on the energy sector, we expect to increase directly the number of employees and the employment of our suppliers through the expansion of the industrial ecosystem. We will contribute to stable job expansion through active investment,” a Doosan official said.