UK manufacturing business signs new partnership with South Korean firm during Japan show


A UK fuel cell manufacturer has signed a new partnership in South Korea, during a trade visit to Japan.

Intelligent Energy (IE) signed a memorandum of understanding with drone software specialist Hogreen Air during this year’s JSAE (Society of Automotive Engineers of Japan) Spring Congress in Yokohama. The agreement could see local production of IE’s 100kW hydrogen fuel cell, IE-DRIVETM, commence in 2024.

The two businesses came together on the UK Pavilion stand, organised by the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), on behalf of the UK Government. The aim of the UK Pavilion stand is to showcase investment opportunities available in the UK automotive sector by exhibiting some of the country’s most innovative businesses.

South Korea is one of the countries driving the growth of the Hydrogen Economy and acknowledges the potential for both hydrogen and specifically fuel cell production. It is a key market for IE and its respective products for drones, warehouses, power production, automotive, eVTOLs and aerospace.

Having started its business as a drone supplier and an integrator of IE’s IE-SOARTM fuel cell modules for UAVs, Hogreen Air has become a valuable partner and distributor for IE and has supported the establishment of fuel cells into the Korean market.

Hogreen Air’s product offerings are no longer limited to drones as the business is expanding into various industrial fields such as power generation up to 20MW and mobility. This provides IE with the opportunity to scale manufacturing capabilities and offer a wider range of products into South Korea and the wider Southeast Asian region with Hogreen Air’s support.

David Woolhouse, CEO at Intelligent Energy said: “Over the last few months, we have been in discussions with partners in the Hydrogen economy hot-spots around the world to start local manufacturing. We have been working with Hogreen Air for 4 years and are delighted to sign up manufacturing in Korea as a first step in creating IE’s global production footprint. As we develop our business to scaled local manufacturing, we will continue to develop a Technology Centre here in the UK.”

Seong-ho Hong, CEO of Hogreen Air said: “Through this contract, we have built a stronger relationship with Intelligent Energy, and based on this, we are very pleased to have the opportunity to introduce Intelligent Energy’s fuel cells with excellent performance to the rapidly growing South Korean hydrogen market.”

Philippa Oldham, director of stakeholder engagement at the Advanced Propulsion Centre, added: “It’s fantastic to see agreements being made between UK businesses and overseas partners following the first of several events for the UK Pavilion in 2022. Intelligent Energy is an ideal example of an innovative UK manufacturing business that recognises to meet our net-zero targets there is a need to work internationally. This collaboration demonstrates the strength of the UK’s clean technology credentials and why Britain is an ideal place for investment.”