Australia’s Woodside Petroleum is looking to drum up demand for hydrogen in South Korea, joining a new initiative aimed at driving the adoption of hydrogen fuel cells in buses in the Asian nation.

Woodside revealed Friday it had joined several local companies to establish HyStation, a company which aims to construct and operate hydrogen refuelling stations to service public transport bus fleets in South Korea.

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It is hoped the initiative will accelerate the conversion of bus fleets from diesel to hydrogen, with hydrogen produced on-site through natural gas reforming.

Woodside noted buses were ideally suited for hydrogen fuel cells given the need for short refuelling times for the heavy vehicles. It is anticipated the first refuelling station could be operational by the end of next year.

Woodside joins state-run Kogas, Samsung C&T, Industrial Bank of Korea, Hyundai Rotem and Hydrogenic Energy Fund — which is majority owned by Hyundai Motor Company — in establishing HyStation.

Woodside revealed some initial financing support for HyStation would also be provided by the Korea Development Bank.

Woodside’s participation in HyStation builds on its previous investment in HyNet, a consortium which is rolling out hydrogen refuelling stations for passenger vehicles in South Korea, with 16 stations already in operation and more nearing completion.

“One of Woodside’s key principles in our approach to hydrogen opportunities is that they should be customer-led,” Woodside’s executive vice president of sustainability Shan Gregory said Friday.

“As an aspiring large-scale hydrogen producer, it is incumbent on us to work with potential customers - who are the experts in their markets - to build sustainable hydrogen demand.”

Woodside is also a member of the Hyzon Zero Carbon Alliance, which is a consortium of companies working to accelerate hydrogen-powered mobility globally.