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Barcelona Industrial Estate to Host Spain’s First Public Hydrogen Station

By June 18, 2020 6   min read  (1067 words)

June 18, 2020 |

Barcelona Bus TMB Hydrogen Station

TMB and the Free Zone Consortium promote hydrogen as energy for the new mobility

  • The Barcelona industrial estate will host, on a 5,000-square-meter plot located on Calle D, the first public station in Spain dedicated to supplying vehicular hydrogen.
  • TMB will build the plant to reach fuel cell buses, eight of which will be acquired shortly through a tender that is already underway.

Barcelona–The Consorci de la Zona Franca de Barcelona (CZFB) and Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB) have reached an agreement to promote a hydrogen supply station to be built by TMB, through a tender, and it will serve fleets of electric vehicles for the transport of passengers and goods in the Barcelona area, in line to move towards a new mobility with zero polluting emissions.

Barcelona Hydrogen Station

Through an agreement signed today by the State’s special delegate to the CZFB, Pere Navarro , and the president of TMB, Rosa Alarcón , it has been established to allocate a plot of the 5,000-square-meter industrial estate, located at number 45-47 on the street D, where a hydrogen production, storage and charging plant will be built that will use TMB buses of this technology and potentially also other fleets and in general the polygon industries as well as private vehicles that adopt it as an alternative energy solution.

Hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe, is a highly versatile energy vector that is destined to play a leading role in the transport, storage and instantaneous conversion of useful energy into diverse forms of energy. The use of hydrogen for transport is advancing thanks to technological development linked to fuel cells.

A process called reverse electrolysis develops in the fuel cell, whereby hydrogen reacts with oxygen. Hydrogen comes from one or more tanks in the vehicle, while oxygen is taken from the ambient air. The only derivative of this reaction is the generated electrical energy, heat, and water, which is expelled as steam through the exhaust pipe. The project is promoted with the collaboration of the Barcelona Metropolitan Transport Authority (ATM).

First public vehicle hydrogen supply station in Spain

Currently, there is no public vehicle hydrogen supply station in Spain and for this reason, there are no vehicles with this technology. In Europe, many countries have identified the potential of this energy storage system and are working intensively on its deployment.

The Barcelona hydrogen supply plant will thus be a pioneer in Spain. Once the destination of the plot has been finalized, TMB will search by competition for a supplier that installs a hydrogen supply point open to the public, although the main and inescapable objective of this infrastructure is to supply TMB buses. The lease for this plot will have an initial duration of 10 years and will be subject to successive extensions of 5 years, up to a maximum of 40 years of total duration.

In parallel, TMB is launching a tender to acquire the first electric buses that will use hydrogen cell technology in its fleet, after the experiment of the CUTE project from 2003-2005. Specifically, there will be 8 units of 12 meters in length, the standard measure, which will arrive in Barcelona in November 2021 with the forecast that they will join the service at the beginning of 2022. The vehicles will be assigned to the Free Zone Business Operation Center and they will be supplied with vehicular hydrogen in the recharge plant created from the agreement signed today, with an estimated consumption of 160 kilos a day.

The acquisition of the 8 zero-emission vehicles has a budget of 6.5 million euros and is supported by the European program JIVE 2 for the promotion of fuel cell and zero-emission vehicles, co-financed by the European Union.

Hydrogen, TMB’s strategic option

The commitment to hydrogen is part of TMB’s strategic option for the modernization and greening of the bus fleet, always with the criteria of green purchasing and progressive electrification. Thus, last February it was awarded the supply of 23 electrical articulations prepared for rapid charging on the street, which will be added to the existing 9, with which progress will be made in converting lines H16, H12, and V15 into emission lines. zero. In subsequent years, the investment will continue (an estimated 115 million euros in the 2019-2021 triennium) for the acquisition of electric and hybrid buses and the corresponding charging infrastructure, with the aim of replacing amortized diesel cars in 2024, that is to say , all except minibusses,

The TMB bus fleet already started the environmental reconversion between 2011 and 2014, and this means that it currently does not provide service with vehicles of an environmental category lower than Euro 3. To achieve this, 70 diesel buses and 13 buses were transformed into hybrids. CNG. In addition, 425 diesel buses were equipped with SCRT filters that retain nitrogen oxides and fine particles, the two pollutants with the greatest impact on the local environment and human health.

The steps that TMB has taken since then go along the lines of complying with international agreements against the climate crisis, to contain the increase in global median temperature and promote development without greenhouse gases. Some agreements that 25 large cities, including Barcelona, ​​have made in action commitments that allow achieving emissions neutrality in 2050, and if it can be earlier, better.

The CZFB committed to improving mobility and reducing emissions

For its part, the Barcelona Free Zone Consortium maintains a firm commitment to environmental policy related to improving mobility and reducing emissions in the Barcelona Free Zone. With the intention of being a reference element in the development of the economy of Barcelona and Catalonia, the Consortium has maintained, since 2008, its commitment to manage its assets in accordance with the principles of the EMAS environmental management system. In addition to this environmental policy, the Consortium has expressly committed itself to the high commissioner of the 2030 agenda with the aim of adapting the industrial zone of the free zone (PIZF) to the 2030 agenda to be a model of sustainable management within the business sector.

In the field of mobility axis, the Consorci, within the EcoCircularZF project, has a specific line of work and also joins or collaborates with various agencies or associations. This line of work aims to change the mobility of workers who come to the Free Trade Zone, offering alternatives to the private vehicle that is the main mode of access today. Also improving the infrastructure to facilitate the change to the use of public transport plus the different alternatives of personal mobility of the last mile.

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