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Ground-breaking: First public hydrogen station in Belgium to be located on Toyota land leased to Air Liquide

Ground Breaking First Hydrogen Station in Belgium 2
  • Flanders Vice-Minister-President Annemie Turtelboom on hand to demonstrate support for building hydrogen infrastructure in Flanders
  • Air Liquide to build first public hydrogen station in Belgium
  • Station located on Toyota Motor Europe land, granted for free to Air Liquide
  • Toyota Belgium to commercialise Mirai from first half 2016 in Belgium; fourth country in Europe to commercialise first mass-produced fuel-cell sedan vehicle

Zaventem, Belgium, 2 October 2015 – There are times when ground-breaking moments call for an actual… ground breaking. Today, construction started on the very first public hydrogen station in Belgium, to be operated by Air Liquide.

Joining Ms Annemie Turtelboom, Vice-Minister-President of the Flemish Government, Flemish Minister for Budget, Finance and Energy, Mr Masahisa Nagata, Toyota Motor Europe Executive Vice-President, Mr Diederick Luijten, Air Liquide Benelux Industries Director for Industrial Merchant, and Mr Bert De Colvenaer, Executive Director, Fuel Cells and Hydrogen-Joint Undertaking, dug a shovel in the ground to kick off the construction of the hydrogen station.

The hydrogen station will be open to the public by mid-2016, and will be built, maintained and operated by Air Liquide on Toyota land adjacent to the R&D Technical and Training Centres of Toyota Motor Europe (TME) in Zaventem. TME is granting the right to use the land for free over a period of 20 years.

As part of the SWARM* project, the station has received funding from the European Fuel Cells and Hydrogen-Joint Undertaking, a private/public partnership in support of the development of hydrogen related applications.

Air Liquide Group is actively involved in developing hydrogen stations around the world with a track record of 75 designed and delivered hydrogen stations globally. Recently the Group has also announced the opening of stations in Germany, Denmark and France in 2015, true to its engagement of building the first hydrogen distribution network in Europe. The creation of a distribution infrastructure is one of the most important conditions to be able to commercially deploy fuel cell vehicles.

Ground Breaking First Hydrogen Station in Belgium

Diederick Luijten, Air Liquide Benelux Industries Director Industrial Merchant, said: “Air Liquide would like to thank Toyota. Thanks to granting a portion of its land and bringing Mirai to the European and Belgium market, Toyota is doing its part to promote the development of a future hydrogen society. Thanks to the technological expertise of its partners, Air Liquide is able to play a leading role in the development of hydrogen infrastructure in Europe. In this way the company can be at the forefront of the current energy transition”.

The Toyota Mirai fuel cell sedan is currently being launched in three countries in Europe (Germany, Denmark and the United Kingdom). In the first half of 2016, Toyota will also bring the Mirai to Belgium, a fourth European market. Toyota Motor Europe will also operate its Fuel Cell Vehicle Care Centre from its Technical Centre in Zaventem, and as such will be one of the customers of the new hydrogen station in Zaventem. Mirai drivers, as well as drivers of other fuel cell vehicles, will of course have access to the station 24h a day, 7 days a week.

With a range similar to a conventional car and with a refuelling time of less than 5 minutes, the Toyota Mirai does not emit any harmful emissions – only water leaves the tailpipe. Just like with the Prius launched in Europe in 2000, which has since become popular and spawned several other hybrid vehicles, Toyota wants Mirai to begin a new era in clean mobility and intends to popularise zero emissions fuel cell mobility within a couple of decades. But it cannot do it alone.

Masahisa Nagata, R&D Executive Vice-President, Toyota Motor Europe says: “Toyota envisions a hydrogen society in which future mobility is built around zero emission vehicles that aim to improve people’s lives while respecting the planet. Last year we launched the Toyota Mirai in Japan, and we are now rolling it out in Europe. But if we want to democratise fuel cell vehicles, we need a refuelling infrastructure. Therefore, it is critical that partners such as local and European governmental authorities, and energy suppliers like Air Liquide, come together to bring the future hydrogen society closer to reality.”

The first public hydrogen station in Belgium will be connecting the country to the ever growing European network of hydrogen stations.

Technical characteristics of the Air Liquide Hydrogen Station

Area 60m x 20m
Size Similar to a normal gas station
Fuels provided Hydrogen only (no petrol, diesel, CNG or LPG)
Pressure of hydrogen storage 200 bar
Pressure of hydrogen delivery to vehicle 700 bar
Number of pumps 1
Min. number of FCV recharging per day 30
Max. quantity of hydrogen stored on site 200 kg
Method of refuelling of station Truck from Antwerp

(*) SWARM:” Small 4-Wheel fuel cell passenger vehicle Applications in Regional and Municipal transport”. This project aims to deploy 90 passenger hydrogen fuel cell cars in Europe and support infrastructure deployment. Two regions of Europe are taking part in this project: the Brussels region in Belgium, and the Wer-Ems region in Germany.

October 5, 2015 - 11:58 AM