Air Liquide, a French industrial gas company, and the Port of Rotterdam Authority have launched a jointly created initiative, which aims at enabling 1,000 hydrogen-powered zero-emission trucks on the roads connecting the Netherlands, Belgium, and West Germany by 2025.
Several partners representing the whole supply chain, from truck manufacturers such as VDL Groep, Iveco/Nikola to transport companies Vos Logistics, Jongeneel Transport and HN Post, as well as leading fuel cell suppliers have already agreed to join, said the Port of Rotterdam Authority in its announcement.
The project, which is one of the largest in Europe for the development of hydrogen trucks and related infrastructure, is expected to improve air quality by reducing by an estimated amount of more than 100,000 tonnes CO2 emissions per year, translated to 110 million km driven.
"For heavy-duty transport, hydrogen will play a significant role and offer the path to a sustainable, carbon-neutral age of mobility. This alliance demonstrates the commitment of the parties to join forces towards the common ambition to fight against climate change," said François Jackow, executive vice president and a member of the Air Liquide Group’s executive committee.
In order to have 1,000 hydrogen-powered trucks on the road, out of which 500 are expected to be based in the Port of Rotterdam area, the related infrastructure needs to be developed and deployed, which envisages 25 high capacity hydrogen stations to connect the Netherlands, Belgium, and West Germany. The project also aims to include the necessary electrolysis capacity to produce low carbon hydrogen.
The companies represented in the initiative will jointly perform the feasibility study of this whole value chain.
To date, the project counts partners with complementary expertise, according to an announcement, including hydrogen production, distribution through filling stations, truck manufacturers, transport companies, and fuel cell manufacturers for heavy-duty applications.
"With this coalition of partners that complement one another, we can give zero emission road transport a boost. In doing so we take our responsibility as Europe's largest port and help local, national and European authorities to realise their ambitions," commented Allard Castelein, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority.
Air Liquide and the Port of Rotterdam expect to invite more parties to join this initiative in the coming months. The final investment decision by the project partners is expected at the end of 2022.
Hydrogen is one of the energy sources that constitutes a solution to meet the challenge of clean transportation. It enables the reduction of greenhouse gases, pollution in cities and dependency on fossil fuels. It is particularly suited for intensively used heavy duty vehicles.