Innovative Kiwi energy companies Waitomo Group and Hiringa Energy have announced their intentions to work in partnership to develop New Zealand’s first nationwide hydrogen refuelling stations network.
Taranaki-based Hiringa Energy is the first company in New Zealand dedicated to the supply of green hydrogen, providing solutions for industry, the public sector, and transport operators. Waikato-based Waitomo Group is New Zealand’s fastest-growing independent fuel retailer.
Together the two high-growth companies will work on the detailed engineering requirements and consenting for a network of hydrogen refuelling sites – some of which will be on existing Waitomo Fuel Stops. Initial locations have been selected, with plans for a further 20 stations to be developed across both the North and South Island.
Hiringa Energy CEO and Co-Founder, Andrew Clennett, says the partnering with Waitomo brings together the complementary skills and strengths of two innovative, future-focused companies to provide leadership in the development of hydrogen as a viable alternative commercial fuel source for New Zealand.
“Heavy transport makes up only four percent of our vehicles, but they’re responsible for over 25 percent of our total vehicle emissions. Hydrogen is the key technology that will allow these fleets to stay on the road – a mass-market, clean energy solution that can have a real impact on reducing our transport emissions,” Mr Clennett says.
“Two small Kiwi, family-owned businesses working together to show leadership in this space, for our children’s future and for the wider economy, is really exciting and the potential for New Zealand is huge, but we can’t do it on our own.
“Delivering high-impact, commercially-viable solutions to reduce emissions will require input and partnership between government, cities, regions and private businesses. Establishing partnerships with leading companies like Waitomo is a key strategy to enable this transition, and we look forward to more partners coming on board with us.”
Waitomo Managing Director Jimmy Ormsby says his third-generation, family-run company has been evolving its business model over the last 70 years to meet New Zealand’s unique energy requirements.
“From my grandfather Desmond Ormsby’s foundation of the business in 1947 in Te Kuiti, to my father Grey Ormsby’s management of the business and then on to me, we’ve all been focused on building and growing Waitomo for the benefit of all Kiwis. That includes providing fuel supply for future generations of New Zealanders.
“Adding low emission alternative fuel solutions to our network is a no-brainer. We want to leave a legacy for the next generation of Ormsby’s to continue in our footsteps. The exciting opportunities that green hydrogen technology offers allows us to deliver on that.
“Working with a company like Hiringa that shares our values and vision, and wants to make a positive impact on New Zealand’s future fuel supply options for Kiwis and Kiwi businesses, is a project we’re really proud to be involved in.”
Development and consenting for the first hydrogen refuelling sites will get under way this year. The two companies will work together to identify and scope further sites for development of the network in 2020.
Established in Te Kuiti more than 70 years ago by Desmond Ormsby, Waitomo Group now has 65 sites stretching from Paihia in the north and as far south as Christchurch.
Hiringa Energy is the first company in New Zealand dedicated to the supply of green hydrogen, and providing solutions for industry, the public sector, and transport operators.