03/10/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 03/10/2023 06:37
"As previously announced, we are expanding the availability and range of fuels offered to our customers. The ORLEN Group's first hydrogen refuelling station in the Czech Republic has already been opened, following a similar facility launched last year in Kraków. This marks a significant step forward in our efforts to develop hydrogen infrastructure in Central Europe and establish ourselves as a leader in zero-emission transport. Our ultimate ambition is to build over 100 refuelling stations in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia by the end of this decade, positioning our network as a crucial component of hydrogen transport corridors throughout Europe. In doing so, we hope to play a significant role in the region's efforts towards achieving climate neutrality," commented Daniel Obajtek, CEO and President of the Management Board of PKN ORLEN.
The ORLEN Benzina filling station located in Prague's bustling Barrandov district is a state-of-the-art, unmanned facility that is open to the public 24/7. What makes it truly exceptional is its ability to cater to hydrogen-fuelled vehicles such as cars, trucks, and buses. The station features two dispensers that come equipped with specially designed gun noses that offer a pressure of 700 bar for cars and 350 bar for larger vehicles. This impressive facility was made possible with financial support from the Ministry of Transport of the Czech Republic under the Sectoral Operational Programme Transport. ORLEN Unipetrol has set ambitious goals to provide up to 28 hydrogen filling stations across the Czech Republic by 2030, along with two hydrogen distribution terminals for rail transport in Litvínov and Neratovice.
The creation of hydrogen fuel infrastructure constitutes a fundamental component of ORLEN Group's Hydrogen Strategy and is a pivotal aspect of the ORLEN2030 initiative. The company recognizes the pressing need to address the challenges posed by the energy transition and to explore sustainable and eco-friendly solutions. As a substitute for conventional fuels, hydrogen plays a significant role in the decarbonization process. As per ORLEN's vision, up to 50% of the hydrogen generated by the company will be low- or zero-emission, with an ultimate goal of achieving approximately 80% by 2030 and beyond.
According to H2.live, there are currently 163 hydrogen refuelling stations operating in Europe, with an additional 46 in the pipeline. In response to this, the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA) has recommended that Europe should have a minimum of 300 hydrogen refuelling stations by 2025 and no fewer than 1,000 by 2030.
Hydrogen-powered vehicles represent the future of environmentally conscious driving. Although technically classified as electric cars, they are unique in that they do not rely on batteries. Instead, the engine utilizes hydrogen propulsion, in which energy is generated through the reaction of hydrogen with oxygen in fuel cells. Remarkably, the only by-product of this chemical reaction is water. The most significant advantage of hydrogen-powered vehicles over battery electric vehicles is their impressive range, which can reach up to 700 km. Additionally, refuelling times are significantly shorter, making them comparable to petrol and diesel cars. One bus requires only 30 kg of hydrogen fuel per day, enabling it to travel approximately 300 km. Similarly, the tank capacity of passenger cars is approximately 5 kg of hydrogen, which allows for a journey of nearly 600 km.
In accordance with ORLEN Group's hydrogen strategy, over 100 hydrogen filling stations will be established for road and rail transport in Central Europe by 2030. The hydrogen fuelling facilities will be supplied with hydrogen from an extensive network of hydrogen hubs. These hubs will be powered by renewable energy sources and advanced facilities that will convert municipal waste into zero- and low-emission hydrogen. By 2030, the ORLEN Group's total assumed capacity of electrolysers will be approximately 1 GW of power. This, combined with waste-to-hydrogen projects, will result in the production of more than 130 kt of renewable hydrogen by the end of the decade. Furthermore, the company's Hydrogen Eagle project will be instrumental in constructing a comprehensive infrastructure for the production and distribution of low- and zero-emission hydrogen in Poland. To finance these projects, PKN ORLEN has secured funding from the Innovation Fund, CEF (Connecting Europe Facility), the National Fund for Environmental Protection, and the European Commission's notification for the 'Hydrogen Eagle' project under the IPCEI mechanism.