Hydrogen station to be opened in Berlin
Earlier this week, work started on the first hydrogen filling station to be opened to the public in Germany. A consortium made up of Norsk Hydro and eight other partners has invested in the station, which will open towards the end of 2004.
The objective of the forward-looking Clean Energy Partnership (CEP) is to show how hydrogen can be used in everyday applications, and to test the reactions of customers. With its long experience of the production, application and handling of hydrogen, Hydro has been given a key role in this demonstration project.
“The filling station in Berlin is an important milestone in the work towards a future hydrogen society,” says sector president Hilde Myrberg in Hydro Energy. “Being involved in a project like this is a good opportunity to extend our expertise and gain experience from other participants.”
In addition, the car producers in CEP will provide a fleet of 16 hydrogen cars. These will be delivered to normal car purchasers and will thus be driven for the first time under everyday conditions.
The hydrogen that the cars will run on will be produced by an electrolyser at the filling station – avoiding the need for long-distance transport from central hydrogen plants. Norsk Hydro Electrolysers (NHEL), which will deliver the electrolyser, has previously supplied technology to two hydrogen filling stations in Reykjavik and Hamburg.
“Hydro is the world’s leading producer of electrolysers for local hydrogen production,” says Hilde Myrberg. “Our long experience of developing electrolysers for industrial applications makes us able to contribute to the filling stations of the future.”
The hydrogen station in Berlin will look just like a modern Aral petrol station from the outside, but from the end of 2004 it will provide fuel for a fleet of hydrogen cars. It will also sell normal petrol and provide carwash facilities, an information centre and a workshop. The project is estimated to cost a total of EUR 22 million, and will be financed partly by the companies in the consortium and partly by the German federal government.
“Our involvement in the project here in Berlin reflects Hydro’s commitment to hydrogen. Hydrogen is a clean fuel, and we will continue to expand our expertise and to help to develop safe operations that will make hydrogen a competitive alternative energy carrier in the future,” concludes Hilde Myrberg, president of sector in Hydro Energy.