ORLEN’s hydrogen mobility project secures largest EU hydrogen grant

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Polish energy company ORLEN announced on Thursday (22 April) that its “Clean Cities – Hydrogen mobility in Poland” project has secured the largest grant ever awarded by the EU for hydrogen innovation, totalling 62 million euros of non-repayable funding.

The EU funds are expected to fund 16 hydrogen refuelling stations available to the public across various regions of Poland and to establish a green hydrogen production facility.

“Central to the transition process is the advancement of alternative fuels, including hydrogen. We can foresee its increasingly prominent role across the industrial sector, heavy haulage and public transport. Zero-emission public mobility will be especially crucial in large municipalities, which – fortified by funding from the National Environmental Protection and Water Management Fund and EU facilities – are becoming ever more eager to embrace hydrogen-powered vehicles,” said Grzegorz Jóźwiak, Head of the Hydrogen Technology and Synthetic Fuels Office. “This is why we’re resolute in our mission to spearhead this form of mobility in partnership with local governments across Poland. The grant we have just received demonstrates that we’re on the right track, resonating with the blueprint endorsed by EU authorities.”

A total sum of 424 million euros, with 120 million euros going towards hydrogen refuelling infrastructure initiatives, has been disbursed across 42 projects under the latest round of funding from the European Commission’s CEF Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Facility, launched by the European Executive Agency for Climate, Environment and Infrastructure (CINEA). 

The EU funding is to enable the third phase of ORLEN’s ‘Clean Cities – Hydrogen mobility in Poland’ project. As part of the first two phases, ORLEN is deploying hydrogen infrastructure comprised of eight refuelling stations across the country plus an automotive-grade hydrogen production plant based in Włocławek. These investments had already been backed by funding of 70 million zlotys (16.2 million euros) under the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility.

Drawing on those funds, ORLEN has launched hydrogen fuel supplies for public vehicles in Poznań and is testing a pilot hydrogen refuelling station in Katowice, with more such facilities in the pipeline (in Piła, Warsaw, Gorzów Wielkopolski, Kraków, Bielsko-Biała and Włocławek). They will be open to the general public to fuel city buses, private cars and trucks.

As part of the third phase, ORLEN plans to expand Poland’s hydrogen infrastructure with an additional 16 publicly available refuelling stations located in various parts of the country along the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T). In addition, it will establish another automotive-grade hydrogen production plant in Szczecin.

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