ORLEN to build hydrogen refuelling stations in more Polish cities

PKN ORLEN is going to build public access hydrogen refuelling stations in Bielsko-Biała, Gorzów Wielkopolski, Kraków, Warsaw and Piła. The Company has been granted for this purpose more than PLN 60 million in non-repayable financial support from the EU CEF Transport Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Facility. In accordance with its hydrogen strategy, the ORLEN Group is set to open more than 100 hydrogen refuelling stations in Central Europe by 2030. This year, the Group has launched Poland’s first mobile hydrogen refuelling station in Kraków. Next year, such stations are to be placed in service in Poznań and Katowice. There are also plans to build a hydrogen refuelling station in Wałbrzych.

- We are building a modern hydrogen economy in Europe. Our project is part of the prestigious group of 24 European projects receiving financial support to develop alternative fuel infrastructure. This confirms that the path set by our hydrogen strategy is the right direction for sustainable business growth. We are keeping up the momentum because we know that hydrogen is the future of motoring. We are stepping up work on its implementation in transport, thus strengthening our position in the European market. We are building further hydrogen refuelling stations in parallel with entering into cooperation with local governments and municipal transport companies which will be potential buyers of this environmentally friendly fuel - says Daniel Obajtek, President of the Management Board of PKN ORLEN.

Five new hydrogen refuelling stations to be built with the funding granted as part of the second phase of the ‘Clean cities – hydrogen mobility in Poland’ project will be used to refuel public transport vehicles, passenger cars, and eventually trucks. It is planned that the stations in Bielsko-Biała, Gorzów Wielkopolski, Kraków, Warsaw and Piła will be placed in service in mid-2025.

The hydrogen refuelling stations in Poznań and Katowice, for the construction of which PKN ORLEN received funding from the CEF Transport Blending Facility last year as part of the first phase of the ’Clean cities – hydrogen mobility in Poland’ project, will be launched already in the second half of 2023 These will be open-access, round-the-clock facilities suitable for all hydrogen-powered vehicles, with pressure of 700 bar for passenger cars and 350 bar for buses and heavy transport vehicles. The planned infrastructure will enable the refuelling of a total of more than 40 buses, as well as passenger cars and other hydrogen-cell-powered vehicles.

The daily hydrogen fuel requirement for one bus is 30 kg, sufficient to cover a distance of about 300 km. The tank capacity of passenger cars such as Toyota Mirai is about 5 kg of hydrogen, making it possible to travel nearly 600 km. In addition, the use of green hydrogen technology in transport will significantly contribute to improving air quality and reducing noise levels in cities.

In accordance with the strategy, PKN ORLEN will allocate PLN 7.4 billion for low- and zero-emission hydrogen investments until 2030. The ORLEN Group plans to build an international network of hydrogen hubs and a network of more than 100 hydrogen refuelling stations for individual, public, cargo, road and rail transport in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, including approximately 57 stations in Poland, 26 in Slovakia and 28 in the Czech Republic.

As a pilot project, this year PKN ORLEN has placed in service Poland’s first mobile hydrogen refuelling station in Kraków. Hydrogen from the ORLEN Group’s biorefinery in Trzebinia powers the cells of a zero-emission bus tested on public transport routes in Kraków. In the first week alone, the bus refuelled with hydrogen six times and drove 800 km generating zero carbon emissions. To date, PKN ORLEN has supplied nearly 750 kg of hydrogen for the Kraków bus.