South Korea's liquified natural gas (LNG) and cryogenic equipment market is heavily dependent on foreign products because domestic small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) do not have proper performance test facilities to research, develop and test equipment. Large companies favor foreign products because there are risks of technology leaks when locally-designed parts are manufactured in overseas plants.
The Korea Institute of Machinery & Materials (KIMM) said that an LNG and cryogenic technology test center has been established in the southern port city of Gimhae to help SMEs research and develop equipment and test new technologies. The center will accelerate the localization of LNG and cryogenic equipment, KIMM said, adding it would help reduce costs because domestic SMEs will not have to receive certifications from foreign bodies.
The center tests and demonstrates the stability and reliability of cryogenic equipment such as valves, pumps, heat exchangers, and compressors. Because natural gas must be cooled to cryogenic temperatures, it is important to have a safe area secured for testing. Cryogenic equipment is widely used in military and civilian sectors such as fuel management, marine shipping and logistics.
"This achievement is meaningful in that it serves as a cornerstone for the development of cryogenic technology in South Korea," KIMM head researcher Lee Keun-Tae said in a statement on March 21.
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