ORLEN to build three more hydrogen fuel stations

Three public stations for refuelling hydrogen vehicles are soon to be built by PKN ORLEN in Wałbrzych, Poznań and Katowice. The project agreement has just been signed with the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management. The investment marks another concrete step in the delivery of the Company’s full value chain hydrogen strategy. Its flagship ‘Hydrogen Eagle’ project was recently approved by the European Commission under the IPCEI (Important Project of Common European Interest) Hy2Use programme and was the only Polish initiative among the select group of 35 projects proposed by applicants from 13 European countries. 

- Work to deliver PKN ORLEN’s hydrogen strategy is gathering pace. We want to be the transition leader in the market of Central Europe, producing and supplying zero- and low-carbon hydrogen as an alternative transport fuel. Our ambition is to roll out solutions based on advanced, environment-friendly technologies. This is one area where we will seek to diversify revenue sources of the multi-utility group we have set out to build. PKN ORLEN’s decisive entry into the hydrogen market and consolidation of its leading position there result from the energy transition vision we have been consistently pursuing for several years now. Only a strong, large group will have the necessary potential to simultaneously guarantee the country’s energy security and implement state-of-the-art technologies at the European level - says Daniel Obajtek, CEO of PKN ORLEN.

PKN ORLEN has been successfully diversifying efforts to secure sources of non-repayable finance that would allow it achieve its ambitious goals. In building the new hydrogen fuel stations in Wałbrzych, Poznań and Katowice PKN ORLEN will partly rely on financial support granted under the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management’s ‘Support for electric vehicle charging and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure’ programme, with additional funding received for the stations in Poznań and Katowice from the EU’s CEF Transport Blending Facility under the ‘Clean Cities – Hydrogen Mobility in Poland (Phase I)’ project.
The stations in Katowice and Poznań are due to be launched in the second half of 2023, while the one in Wałbrzych will be placed in service by early 2025.

In September 2022, PKN ORLEN also received a decision whereby it was granted more than PLN 60m in non-repayable funding from the EU’s CEF Transport Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Facility for the construction of public hydrogen fuel stations in Bielsko-Biała, Gorzów Wielkopolski, Kraków, Warsaw and Piła. Scheduled to be placed in service in mid-2025,  all these stations will be accessible to the general public on a 24/7 basis. The available options will make them suitable for refuelling public service buses, but also passenger cars and ultimately delivery trucks.

According to the ORLEN Group’s hydrogen strategy until 2030, a network of more than 100 hydrogen fuel stations will be deployed across Central Europe to serve road and rail transport vehicles in the private, public and cargo sectors (comprising 57 stations in Poland, 28 in the Czech Republic, and 26 in Slovakia). Hydrogen deliveries will be possible thanks to the scheme to develop, by 2030, an international chain of hydrogen hubs powered by renewable energy sources and build innovative facilities to convert municipal waste into zero- and low-carbon hydrogen. The ORLEN Group’s capex spending on hydrogen projects is to reach about PLN 7.4bn by 2030.

The ‘Hydrogen Eagle’ project, now being prepared by PKN ORLEN, will enable the construction in Poland of complete infrastructure for the production and distribution of low- and zero-carbon hydrogen. Part of an international map of similar initiatives, the project will provide an indispensable link in the development of the North-South and East-West hydrogen highways. One of the IPCEI-funded projects is to develop cross-border corridors to enable free hydrogen transport via road and rail. Given its location, Poland plays a key role in those plans.