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Hydro seeks hydrogen car users

October 24, 2005, 14:30 CEST

It's still possible to be a hydrogen car user in connection with Norways first hydrogen fuelling station. The target group is future-oriented local interests with an environmental profile, said Hydro's Ulf Hafseld at a press conference in Porsgrunn on Monday.

HyNor Grenland seeks a commercial bid on a fleet of hydrogen vehicles - comprising 15 Toyota Prius hybrid cars with electric motors and internal combustion engines built to use hydrogen. HyNor Grenland also hopes to include Think’s new hydrogen hybrid scheduled to become available in 2006.

The plan calls for Miljøbil Grenland to buy hydrogen vehicles that are leased out to local users. The prerequisite for the project is to have enough local users. A number of parties have expressed interest, but it’s still possible to be a hydrogen car user, in connection with the hydrogen filling station at Herøya.

”The point of building Norway’s first hydrogen station is to show that hydrogen is a new, safe and environmentally friendly fuel that’s well suited for everyday transportation,” said Hafseld, who heads up Hydro’s hydrogen project in Grenland.

Hafseld emphasized that an adequate number of vehicles is needed to make the hydrogen station at Herøya a reality. 

Hydrogen is a by-product of chlorine production at the petrochemical plants in Rafnes. The plan is to extend an existing pipeline to transport hydrogen from Rafnes to Herøya.

Hydro took the initiative in 2003 to coordinate internal company activities towards the goal of helping develop hydrogen as a means of transportation in Norway.  HyNor currently has some 30 project partners at six different locations. Hydro heads up the HyNor project.

HyNor plans to build a hydrogen highway from Stavanger to Oslo with hydrogen stations in Stavanger, Lyngdal, Grimstad, Porsgrunn, Drammen and Oslo. The hydrogen station at Herøya in Porsgrunn will likely be the first. The goal is that cars fuelled by hydrogen can travel between Oslo and Stavanger by 2008.

The Research Council of Norway has been granted a total NOK 30.2 million towards the HyNor project. Of this, some 16.2 million is earmarked for HyNor Grenland.