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ORLEN Group begins construction of hydrogen refuelling stations in the Czech Republic

Poland’s oil refiner and petrol retailer PKN ORLEN is building hydrogen refuelling stations in Prague and Litvínovm, in the Czech Republic. The points will be constructed by the end of the year and be available to motorists by 2021.

“Energy transition is a necessity and our ambition is to spearhead the process both in Poland and Central Europe,” commented Daniel Obajtek, President of the PKN ORLEN Management Board. “We are also looking to leverage the related challenges, including the global trend towards new mobility, as business opportunities. In the coming years, we will invest more than 25 billion złoty [5.5 billion euros] in projects designed to mitigate environmental impacts, opening us up to new business models. We have a specific action plan, which includes work on developing alternative fuels and low-carbon technologies. Hydrogen will certainly be an important transport fuel of the future, which is why we have been firmly stepping up work in that area, including at our foreign service stations.”

Hydrogen is both a safe and environmentally friendly fuel, obtained from natural gas and renewable energy sources, but also from biomass. Purified, it can be used as a fuel powering electric vehicles, soon to serve as a viable alternative to traditional fossil fuels.

“Hydrogen-powered vehicles are the future of the automotive industry, given short refuelling times and the technically undemanding methods of its storage and transport,” added Tomasz Wiatrak, President of the Management Board of UNIPETROL, the ORLEN Group’s Czech subsidiary. “We are now holding advanced talks with the local authorities of Prague, the Central Bohemian Region and the Ústecký Region on its use as a fuel in Czech public transport. We are also in regular contact with hydrogen-powered car makers, which in the future may lead to formal business links and exciting projects.”

Hydrogen refuelling infrastructure will first be installed at the ORLEN Group’s Benzina stations in the Barrandov neighbourhood of Prague and in Litvínov. It will be supplied with hydrogen produced during crude oil processing at UNIPETROL’s refineries in Litvínov and Kralupy nad Vltavou. Construction of the refuelling stations has been contracted by UNIPETROL to the Bonett Group, the largest vendor of alternative fuel infrastructure in Central Europe and the second-largest supplier of CNG in the Czech Republic. The Group operates on the Czech, Polish and Slovak markets, where it focuses on building, operating and delivering alternative fuel filling stations.

These projects will support the ORLEN Group’s commitment to achieve emission neutrality by 2050.

In this regard, the ORLEN Group has also commenced a process to select the contractor to build a hydrogen hub in Włocławek, designed to ultimately produce up to 600 kilograms of purified hydrogen per hour.

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