Three public stations for refuelling hydrogen vehicles are soon to be built by PKN ORLEN in Wałbrzych, Poznań and Katowice. The project agreement has just been signed with the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management.
The investment marks another concrete step in the delivery of the Company’s full value chain hydrogen strategy. Its flagship Hydrogen Eagle project was recently approved by the European Commission under the IPCEI (Important Project of Common European Interest) Hy2Use programme and was the only Polish initiative among the select group of 35 projects proposed by applicants from 13 European countries.
“Work to deliver PKN ORLEN’s hydrogen strategy is gathering pace,” said Daniel Obajtek, CEO of PKN ORLEN. “We want to be the transition leader in the market of Central Europe, producing and supplying zero- and low-carbon hydrogen as an alternative transport fuel. Our ambition is to roll out solutions based on advanced, environment-friendly technologies. This is one area where we will seek to diversify revenue sources of the multi-utility group we have set out to build.”
“PKN ORLEN’s decisive entry into the hydrogen market and consolidation of its leading position there result from the energy transition vision we have been consistently pursuing for several years now,” he added. “Only a strong, large group will have the necessary potential to simultaneously guarantee the country’s energy security and implement state-of-the-art technologies at the European level.”
PKN ORLEN has been successfully diversifying efforts to secure sources of non-repayable finance that would allow it to achieve its ambitious goals. The stations in Katowice and Poznań are due to be launched in the second half of 2023, while the one in Wałbrzych will be placed in service by early 2025.
According to the ORLEN Group’s hydrogen strategy until 2030, a network of more than 100 hydrogen fuel stations will be deployed across Central Europe to serve road and rail transport vehicles in the private, public and cargo sectors (comprising 57 stations in Poland, 28 in the Czech Republic, and 26 in Slovakia). Hydrogen deliveries will be possible thanks to the scheme to develop, by 2030, an international chain of hydrogen hubs powered by renewable energy sources and build innovative facilities to convert municipal waste into zero- and low-carbon hydrogen.
The Hydrogen Eagle project, now being prepared by PKN ORLEN, will enable the construction in Poland of complete infrastructure for the production and distribution of low- and zero-carbon hydrogen. Part of an international map of similar initiatives, the project will provide an indispensable link in the development of the North-South and East-West hydrogen highways. One of the IPCEI-funded projects is to develop cross-border corridors to enable free hydrogen transport via road and rail. Given its location, Poland plays a key role in those plans.