Hydro opens worlds first hydrogen station on Iceland

September 27, 2007, 21:05 CEST

Islands minister of industry and commerce today opened the worlds first hydrogen refuelling station for cars and buses. The station, constructed using Norsk Hydros hydrogen technology, has been built at an existing commercial fuel retail site in Reykjavik.

Hydrogen has been named by many as the energy carrier of the future. The inauguration of the station represents an important step in this direction, at the same time illustrating Hydro’s strong position in hydrogen.

"The opening is a major step towards a hydrogen society and in full keeping with the Icelandic Government’s policy of encouraging and supporting the increased utilization of renewable energy resources in harmony with the environment," says minister Valgerður Sverrisdóttir, who officially opened the facility by filling a DaimlerChrysler fuel-cell vehicle.

In connection with the inauguration, a conference was staged on hydrogen as a source of energy. Executive vice president Tore Torvund, of Hydro Oil and Energy, was among the participants:

"Our supply of the technology for the filling station here in Iceland is a demonstration of Norsk Hydro’s commitment to the hydrogen future. We will continue our efforts to develop our knowledge, contribute to securing safe operation and reduced costs, making hydrogen fuel a viable option for a sustainable future," he said.

"In the long term we need to get hydrogen from renewable sources. Iceland is an example of a country with indigenous resources where a future based on hydro and geothermal energy is possible – if we can create a reliable fuel system for the transport sector. This will require further developments leading on from the demonstration we see here today."

The hydrogen station in Reykjavik is owned by Skeljungur Ltd (Shell’s distributor on Iceland) and the consortium Icelandic New Energy Ltd, in which Hydro holds a 16.3 percent stake.

The other partners are the Icelandic company VistOrka, DaimlerChrysler and Shell Hydrogen.

The hydrogen is produced from water on site by electrolysis, using eguipment supplied by Norsk Hydro Electrolysers. The electricity used during the electrolytic process is obtained from Iceland’s natural geothermal and hydroelectric energy sources.

The operation of the hydrogen station is part of ECTOS, a project supported by the EU designed to investigate the socio–economic and environmental implications of changing the energy base.

The station will be used to fuel three DaimlerChrysler buses, which will be operated on a commercial basis in Reykjavik by the municipal transport company Straeto. Private hydrogen vehicles are expected to follow in the future, and the Icelandic authorities have already issued all the permits necessary for the station to operate on a commercial basis.


See also:

Norsk Hydro Electrolysers