March 1, 2023
5 min read
SK Inc. also completed a strategic minority investment in ION and will exclusively deploy the company’s technology in Asia and Australia
March 1, 2023—SK Inc., the strategic investment arm of South Korea’s SK Group, announced today a new licensing partnership with ION Clean Energy Inc. (ION) for the exclusive deployment of ION’s industry-leading carbon capture technology in Asia and Australia. ION is a Colorado-based developer of post-combustion carbon capture technologies that capture over 95% of CO2 emissions, improve overall sustainability and significantly reduce project operating and capital costs.
The announcement also marks the completion of SK Inc.’s strategic minority equity investment in ION. The collaboration between SK and ION will focus on evaluating global opportunities in the areas of R&D, technology enhancements, supply chain management and commercial project development.
“Our partnership with ION comes at a perfect time, as commercial demand for carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies continues to grow exponentially,” said Youngwook Lee, CEO of SK Inc. Materials. “We believe ION’s industry leading technology will become a catalyst for faster development of the entire CCUS industry, and this investment strengthens our ability to provide holistic CCUS solutions to industrial carbon emitters across the globe.”
SK Inc. has been expanding its investments in green businesses and technologies to support SK Group’s overarching goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate the effects of climate change. The investment in ION underscores SK Inc.’s commitment to this endeavor and supports ION’s goal of eliminating 1 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions by 2050 from utility and industrial sources.
“We’re honored and excited to partner with SK to continue the development and commercial deployment of ION’s products” said Buz Brown, CEO of ION Clean Energy. “Their belief in our technology validates the work and dedication of our team over the last decade. SK’s commitment to our partnership has us feeling very bullish about the positive impact we can make together on commercial projects around the world. This is a big step in our growth and will accelerate ION’s momentum to match the market demand.”
ION’s CCUS Solution
ION is commercializing its proprietary liquid absorbent process and enabling technologies for use by large point sources, including natural gas and coal-fired power plants, as well other industrial CO2 emitters such as hydrogen, cement, petrochemical, steel, and mining operations.
Its solvent-based capture technology for post-combustion utility and industrial source applications has a direct impact on reducing CapEx and OpEx, while capturing at least 95% of CO2 from stack emissions and flue gases. Additionally, ION’s energy efficiency, robust performance, and environmentally advantageous features can help drive down the lifetime cost of technology and greatly contribute to reducing the overall cost of CO2 capture.
Achieving Net Zero
Over the past 10 years, ION has received approximately $85 million in highly competitive U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awards to support bench-scale and large-pilot testing, including the construction of a new pilot at Calpine Corporation’s Los Medanos Energy Center in Pittsburg, California. Most recently, ION has been the technology of choice for DOE-funded commercial Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) studies for CO2 capture systems at Tampa Electric Company’s Polk Power Station and Calpine's Delta Energy Center. ION has also been competitively selected for commercial projects around the world that will drive its growth. ION tested and proved its performance at the National Carbon Capture Center in Alabama and the CO2 Technology Centre Mongstad in Norway, the world’s largest and most advanced CO2 capture test facility. ION’s pilot-scale demonstration plant with its key commercial partner, Calpine, will be operational in 2023, and the company will continue to pursue DOE funding and collaboration opportunities in the future.
SK Group is committed to investing in and growing businesses that have a meaningful impact on mitigating the effects of climate change. As a whole, SK has pledged to cut 200 million tonnes of carbon emissions in 2030, or 1% of global carbon reduction targets.
SK Group, South Korea's second-largest conglomerate, is a collection of global industry-leading companies driving innovations in semiconductors, sustainable energy, telecommunications and life sciences. Based in Seoul, SK invests in building businesses around the world with a shared commitment to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions and increasing the use of renewable energy.
SK companies combined have $139 billion in global annual revenue and employ more than 100,000 people worldwide. SK companies are investing billions of dollars in expanding their U.S. presence with business operations or partnerships in hydrogen energy and fuel cells, EV battery manufacturing and technology, energy storage solutions, pharmaceutical manufacturing and development, semiconductors, and advanced materials. For more information, visit sk.com.
About ION Clean Energy, Inc.
ION was founded in 2008 in Boulder, Colorado with the focus of developing carbon dioxide capture technologies to reduce overall costs and make CO2 capture a more viable option for greenhouse gas mitigation. The Company is commercializing its proprietary liquid absorbent and process technologies, which are more effective and cost efficient than current commercial solutions for use by point sources of CO2 emissions, including natural gas and coal-fired power generators, and industrial emitters.