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ORLEN Unipetrol to start hydrogen R&D with Slovakian technical university

Czech Republic’s largest refining and petrochemical group, ORLEN Unipetrol signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Slovakia’s Technical University in Košice (TUKE) on future cooperation in researching and developing hydrogen as a suitable energy carrier.

Under the recently unveiled development strategy, ORLEN Unipetrol Group wants to build at least 24 hydrogen stations and one hydrogen distribution terminal in Slovakia by 2030.

“Our group is very active in the field of hydrogen mobility,” said Tomasz Wiatrak, CEO of the ORLEN Unipetrol Group. “We consider ourselves a significant player on the Slovak market in the wholesale and retail segment, so I am pleased that we have managed to find the ideal partner for our further development plans in the form of the Technical University in Košice.”

In the Czech Republic, ORLEN Unipetrol has a long history of cooperation with universities and institutions of higher education in applied research.

Dr Stanislav Kmeť, Rector of the Technical University in Košice welcomed the company’s involvement in research and development of hydrogen and underlined, “we expect scientific cooperation and exchange of information, focused mainly on reducing emissions, high-capacity storage, transport and distributions, or technical drilling”.

Hydrogen currently accounts for less than 2 per cent of Europe’s energy mix and is primarily used to produce chemical products, such as plastics and fertilisers. While it is associated with significant levels of CO2 emissions, hydrogen can also be produced from renewable sources.

Green hydrogen is expected to play a key role in decarbonising sectors, including transport and energy-intensive industries.

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