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World's first hydrogen filling station on way to Iceland

March 7, 2003, 00:00 CET

The world's first hydrogen filling station for cars and buses was shipped from Fredrikstad, Norway, to Reykjavik, Iceland, this week. Hydrogen is designated by many as the energy carrier of the future. Hydro will play a key role in Norway's development of hydrogen for transport.

Transport and Communications Minister Torild Skogsholm was present when the filling station was loaded aboard the Iceland-bound freighter. Skogsholm announced that the ministry has established an expert study group to investigate the use of hydrogen within Norway's transportation sector.

Elisabet Fjermestad Hagen, director in the Hydrogen unit in Hydro Energy, will lead the study group, which will submit its recommendations in the first quarter of 2004.

Among the group's tasks is to study how Norway can best contribute to the international development of zero-emissions technology in the transport sector. The group will take a particular look at the use of hydrogen in road transport. They will also provide an overview of Norwegian research and development activities relating to the use of hydrogen as a fuel in the transport sector.

International cooperation
The hydrogen station that Hydro is delivering to Reykjavik is the first practical stage of the international joint venture, Islandsk NyOrka (Icelandic New Energy Ltd.), in which Norsk Hydro has a 16.3 percent stake. The joint venture's goal is the explore the possibilities of replacing fossil fuels and developing the world's first "hydrogen economy" in the world. This coincides with goals set out by the Icelandic authorities to base all energy production on renewable sources by 2030.

The filling station has been made in connection with the EU-supported ECTOS project, and is being assembled together with Shell in Iceland (Skjeljungur). The station will use Hydro's hydrogen technology, including electrolysers, compressors and a direct vehicle filling system. The ECTOS project includes three hydrogen-run buses built by DaimlerChrysler, which will serve normal routes in Reykjavik for two years.

There are 11 partners in the project and its total cost will be around EUR 7 million. The electrolyser that produces the hydrogen is manufactured by Norsk Hydro Electrolysers, which has 75 years experience in the field. The Notodden, Norway, based company has now started production of a second hydrogen filling station that will be delivered to Hamburg, Germany, in May.

The filling station delivered to Iceland will start operating in Reykjavik on April 24.

FACT

  • The electrolyser splits water into hydrogen and oxygen by means of electricity (electrolysis).
  • The only emission from hydrogen is water.
Norsk Hydro Electrolysers