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ORLEN Invests in the First Hydrogen Stations in the Czech Republic

By October 10, 2020 4   min read  (684 words)

October 10, 2020 |

Orlen Hydrogen Station Graphic

The ORLEN Group consistently develops environmentally friendly hydrogen technology.

Later this year, construction of hydrogen refueling stations will begin at two Czech Benzina stations – in Prague and Litvinov, which drivers will be able to use next year.

There are also plans to open more hydrogen stations – in Brno, Plzeň and Prague, on the D10 motorway. These investments are in line with the emission neutrality in 2050 announced by the concern.

– Energy transformation is a necessity and we want to be its leader in Poland and Central Europe. We intend to use the challenges related to it, including the global trend of new mobility, also for business purposes. In the following years, we will invest over PLN 25 billion in projects that will enable the reduction of environmental impact and openness to new business models. We have a concrete action plan. We will include develop alternative fuels and low carbon technologies. Undoubtedly, hydrogen will be an important fuel used in transport in the future, so we are determined to intensify work in this area, also at our foreign stations – says Daniel Obajtek, President of the Management Board of PKN ORLEN.

Hydrogen is safe and environmentally friendly. It is obtained, among others from natural gas and renewable energy sources, but it can also be obtained from biomass. After cleaning, it can be used as a fuel in electric vehicles, constituting an alternative to traditional fossil fuels in the near future.

– Hydrogen powered vehicles are the future of the automotive industry, among others due to the short refueling time or the technically simple method of storing and transporting hydrogen. We are in advanced talks with the authorities of Prague, Central Bohemia and Ustka Regions on its use in public transport in the Czech Republic. We are also in constant contact with manufacturers of hydrogen-powered cars, which in the future may result in cooperation and interesting projects – saysTomasz Wiatrak, President of the Management Board of UNIPETROL, a Czech company from the ORLEN Group. 

Hydrogen refueling points will be built first at the Benzina-Grupa ORLEN petrol stations in Prague (in the Barrandov district) and in Litvínov. They will be supplied with hydrogen produced during the processing of crude oil in the UNIPETROL refineries in Litvínov and Kralupy on the Vltava River. The construction of the refueling station, commissioned by UNIPETROL, will be carried out by the Bonett Group – the largest supplier of alternative fuel stations in Central Europe and the second largest CNG seller in the Czech Republic. The Group operates on the Czech, Polish and Slovak markets, focusing on investments, running and deliveries of alternative fuel stations.

The construction of hydrogen stations in the Czech Republic is another activity of the ORLEN Group towards the development of alternative fuels. Last and at the beginning of this year, the concern signed letters of intent on cooperation with the Górnośląsko-Zagłębie Metropolis, the Krakow Municipal Holding and Miejskie Przedsiębiorstwo Komunikacyjne in Krakow, as well as the City of Płock, potential recipients of hydrogen. However, since December 2019, PKN ORLEN together with Pesa Bydgoszcz has been implementing a project aimed at developing a hydrogen-powered rail vehicle.

The concern has also started the process of selecting a contractor for the hydrogen hub in Włocławek, which will ultimately be able to produce up to 600 kg of refined hydrogen per hour. As part of the investment, an installation will be built to produce hydrogen in the quality of transport fuel, logistic infrastructure, and refueling stations. Fuel, at the first stage of distribution, will be used primarily for public and freight transport, with the option of refueling passenger cars.

The concern is also developing hydrogen technologies at the ORLEN Południe bio-refinery in Trzebinia. According to the plan, production of hydrogen as transport fuel is expected to start in 2021.

Hydrogen is a fuel that is especially popular in the United States, Japan, and Germany. At the end of last year, there were 432 hydrogen refueling stations worldwide, 330 of which are open to the public. PKN ORLEN has two charging points for hydrogen-powered vehicles at its German “star-ORLEN Group” fuel stations.

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