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Hyundai E&C inks partnership deal with energy IT startup

Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co. (Hyundai E&C) said Monday it has signed a partnership deal with a local energy IT startup via an equity investment in an effort to break into the power brokerage business.

Hyundai E&C, South Korea's No. 2 builder, didn't disclose the amount of its investment in the startup 60Hz, but the builder is widely expected to increase its stake down the road.

60Hz is a climate technology startup focused on developing software that forecasts renewable energy production and virtual power plants (VPPs), which are networks of small power-producing or storage devices that can be pooled together to serve the electricity grid.

Hyundai E&C, the construction arm of top automaker Hyundai Motor Group, said it plans to establish "a comprehensive energy brokerage IT platform" for the first time in Asia's fourth-largest economy through the investment.

The envisioned platform would match power companies with sources of demand, helping them sign deals and settle transactions.

It would also provide electricity producers with financial technological solutions, while securing an IT-based energy communication environment for consumers, including the establishment of a RE100 portfolio, Hyundai E&C said.

RE100 refers to a global corporate initiative aimed at shifting to 100 percent renewable electricity to lessen the impact of worsening climate change.

Based on the business partnership, Hyundai E&C said it will further seek to set up a platform for VPPs.

Hyundai E&C's investment comes after the company decided to include a small electricity brokerage business in its articles of association at an annual shareholders' meeting in March.

Hyundai E&C and 60Hz have already co-developed an RE100 portfolio simulator, providing a strategic consulting service to several corporate power consumers.

A Hyundai E&C official said it will also push to adopt other eco-friendly business strategies, including the establishment of a renewable energy conversion model.

Source: Yonhap News Agency