Hydrogen fuel from ORLEN Group to power public transport in Kraków
Kraków is now home to the first mobile hydrogen refuelling station launched by PKN ORLEN in Poland. Hydrogen from the ORLEN Group’s biorefinery in Trzebinia will power the cells of a zero-emissions bus tested on public transport routes in Kraków. With a full tank, the bus can travel up to 350 kilometres. This is yet another project that fits into the ORLEN Group’s hydrogen strategy announced earlier this year. The Group is set to allocate PLN 7.4bn for hydrogen projects by 2030. Two more hydrogen stations available to all hydrogen-fuelled vehicles will open in Poland next year.
‘We consistently implement projects seeking to ensure energy security for people in Poland and stable, long-term growth and a strong position in Europe for the Group. We are strengthening our capabilities in alternative fuels, including hydrogen, which will play an increasingly important role in the development of the automotive industry and is considered a key element of the energy transition. Our investments in hydrogen planned until 2030 will position us as a leader and a partner of choice in building a hydrogen economy in Central and Eastern Europe. We believe hydrogen has the greatest potential as a fuel in public transport. We have launched our first mobile refuelling station in Kraków, and we plan to build more in Poland and abroad,’ said Daniel Obajtek, President of the PKN ORLEN Management Board.
The hydrogen refuelling station has been launched at a bus depot in Kraków. The green fuel is supplied from the refinery in Trzebinia, which belongs to ORLEN Południe, by a tube trailer comprising tanks holding 400 kg of hydrogen, enough to refill a city hydrogen-powered bus over 11 times.
The hydrogen bus that will serve Kraków residents is a zero-emissions vehicle that only ‘emits’ water vapour. It is fitted with a 70kW hydrogen cell and five hydrogen tanks with a total capacity of over 35 kg. The bus can travel up to 350 km on a single tank.
The project, carried out by PKN ORLEN in partnership with public transport company Miejskie Przedsiębiorstwo Komunikacyjne of Kraków, will support the development of green, zero-emissions public transport in Kraków, improving the well-being of its inhabitants. So far, the Group has signed letters of intent to work with more than 20 cities in Poland and six companies as potential customers for the hydrogen produced by the ORLEN Group. Also, a strategic cooperation agreement was signed with Alstom in May this year for the supply of zero-emissions, eco-friendly trains and hydrogen fuel for public rail transport.
In line with its hydrogen strategy, the Group is to spend PLN 7.4bn by 2030 on investments in hydrogen based on renewable energy sources and municipal waste conversion technology. As a result, nearly half of the hydrogen produced by the ORLEN Group will be low- and zero-emission. Over the next eight years, the ORLEN Group will build a network of over 100 hydrogen refuelling stations for motorists in Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia, including ca. 57 in Poland, around 26 in Slovakia, and approximately 28 in the Czech Republic.
The Group already operates two hydrogen refuelling stations in Germany. Four more will open this year: three in the Czech Republic and one in Kraków, Poland, which will serve public transport vehicles. In 2023, public hydrogen refuelling stations available to all hydrogen vehicle users are slated to open in Poznań and Katowice. Further stations, in Wałbrzych, Piła and Włocławek, are undergoing a tender process.
By 2030, the ORLEN Group will also build ten hydrogen hubs in Poland and abroad. The first hub, with a capacity of about 50 kilograms of automotive grade hydrogen per hour, was already launched last year in Trzebinia. It currently produces hydrogen from natural gas for transport applications and is to ultimately produce low-carbon hydrogen from biomethane, with relevant preparatory work already launched by the ORLEN Group.