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The Hydrogen Stream: Plastic Omnium to build Europe’s largest hydrogen vessel factory

Plastic Omnium has secured French state funding support to build Europe’s largest hydrogen vessel factory, while Vancouver-based First Hydrogen said it is considering investments in Europe’s commercial hydrogen vehicle sector.

Plastic Omnium has signed new contracts with Stellantis and HYVIA to supply high-pressure hydrogen vessel modules for commercial vehicles. The Euronext Paris-listed company has also announced the construction of “Europe’s largest hydrogen vessels factory” in Compiègne, France. The facility will make 80,000 vessels per year, with the first units set for production in 2025. In addition, French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne announced €74 million ($72.3 million) of funding support to develop Plastic Omnium’s hydrogen activities, under the Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI) framework. Earlier this month, Plastic Omnium also said that it will start collaborating with Safra in 2023 to support the development of its Hycity range of hydrogen-powered buses and retrofit service, which converts diesel coaches to hydrogen.

Yara Clean Ammonia has followed Equinor and Gassco to join Hystar’s field project HyPilot. The world’s largest ammonia distributor will contribute to testing green hydrogen in industrial operations. “HyPilot will verify Hystar’s patented technology under realistic field conditions and see the first in-field test of Hystar’s 1 MW containerized electrolyzer next year,” said PEM electrolysis specialist Hystar. The electrolyzer will run for a total of 10,000 hours. “Compared to conventional PEM electrolyzers, the membrane in Hystar’s patented design is significantly thinner, providing better efficiency due to lower resistance across the membrane,” wrote Hystar. The company has already run the electrolyzer for 5,000 hours. Over the coming months, it will build the containerized PEM electrolyzer, with a hydrogen production capacity of up to 500 kg per day.

Fusion Fuel has entered into a €5 million technology sales agreement with Spanish developer Gedisol to supply solar-to-hydrogen systems for a 3.2 MW green hydrogen project in Andalucía, Spain. “The facility will consist of 144 HEVO-Solar trackers that will generate an estimated 200 tons of green hydrogen per annum. The company expects to begin construction early next year and achieve commercial operation in [the third quarter of] 2023,” said the Irish-Portuguese hydrogen company. Fusion Fuel focuses on PEM electrolyzer technology. 

First Hydrogen has announced plans to expand into the European market. The Canadian company’s new initiative will focus on identifying and signing up fleets interested in participating in the planned European trials of the first hydrogen light commercial vans expected to commence in early 2024 in Germany and France. The EU markets represent 35% of the global light commercial vehicle market. 

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FM Logistic has registered a hydrogen refueling station in Spain with the Junta de Castilla La Mancha. It is the company’s second such facility in the country. “It has been a bureaucratic process of which there are hardly any previous references,” said Mario Barragán, legal manager of H2B2.

H2 MOBILITY Germany has opened its first hydrogen station in Landshut, Germany. The new filling station offers hydrogen and all the conventional fuels and services.

Joule has published an article by Jan Rosenow indicating that independent evidence does not support the widespread use of hydrogen for space and hot water heating. Rosenow reviewed 32 studies and concluded that none of them support the case for the widespread use of hydrogen for heating. However, some researchers have identified complementary roles for hydrogen – particularly in district heating and hybrid heating systems. “Policymakers are therefore well advised to consider the existing research carefully before allocating significant public funds for hydrogen heating,” Rosenow wrote. He suggested that decision makers should instead support the deployment of energy-efficient heat pumps, district heating, and solar thermal.

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Source: pv magazine