WANJU, South Korea, Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon on Thursday visited a center focusing on hydrogen fuel cell technology and a factory run by leading carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. in North Jeolla Province.

Lee's trip is part of the government's efforts to nurture the so-called hydrogen economy as the country seeks to shift toward emission-free energy resources.

North Jeolla Province, in the southwest of the country, seeks to become a hub of hydrogen fuel cell-related industries.

Riding in a hydrogen fuel cell car, Lee arrived at the innovation center aimed at supporting the development of hydrogen fuel cell components and technology in Wanju County and met with local businessmen and officials.

He was briefed on efforts by the county and the nearby city of Jeonju to promote the hydrogen-related industry.

Afterwards, the prime minister rode a hydrogen fuel cell bus to visit the Hyundai Motor factory in Jeonju, some 243 kilometers south of Seoul.

"To further promote the hydrogen economy, there is a need to seek pan-government efforts to support relevant industries, along with the legislative procedures," Lee said on the bus.

At the factory, he toured a pilot version of a hydrogen fuel cell bus that is being produced by Hyundai Motor and relevant components, such as hydrogen tanks.

Source: Yonhap news Agency