Air Liquide, DATS 24 and Port of Antwerp join forces in the HyTrucks consortium to deploy 300 hydrogen-powered trucks and the related renewable hydrogen production infrastructure and supply chain assets in Belgium as part of the HyTrucks initiative. This project aims at enabling in total 1,000 hydrogen-powered zero-emission trucks on the roads and building the adequate infrastructure connecting Belgium, the Netherlands and western Germany by 2025.
The partnership aims to deploy hydrogen-powered trucks mainly in the area around the Port of Antwerp and major logistics hubs in Belgium. Hydrogen trucks will be used for intensive local and international transport.
The HyTrucks initiative is one of the largest European projects to deploy zero-emission heavy-duty fleets in Europe’s most intense traffic areas. It aims at reducing significantly CO2 emissions by an estimated amount of more than 100,000 tonnes per year, equivalent to 110 million kilometers driven, thanks to 1,000 trucks, and a first network of 25 high-capacity hydrogen stations connecting Antwerp, Rotterdam, and Duisburg. In Belgium, the HyTrucks project aims at reducing CO2 emissions by an estimated amount of more than 30,000 tonnes per year, equivalent to 33 million kilometres driven.
Clean hydrogen is one of the energy carriers particularly suited for heavy-duty vehicles that enables the reduction of greenhouse gases, urban pollution, and dependency on fossil fuels. On top of reducing CO2 emissions, hydrogen-powered transport will have a positive impact on health and will also contribute to avoid particulate matter, NOx, noise, and vibrations compared to diesel engines.
A growing set of partners representing the whole value chain -truck manufacturers, transport companies, leading fuel cell suppliers- have already agreed to join the initiative announced earlier this year. The companies represented in the larger HyTrucks initiative in the 3 concerned countries will jointly perform the feasibility study.
The initiatives of Air Liquide and DATS 24 have been selected by the Flemish and Dutch government for EU notification as an “important project of common European interest” (IPCEI), and thus obtained eligibility for funding status from European, Federal and Flemish governments. IPCEI allows for enhanced state aid and will help the project as a first of its kind with new technology forward.
Diederick Luijten, Vice President Hydrogen Energy Northern Europe & CIS countries for Air Liquide, said: “Fighting climate change is central to the mission of Air Liquide. With our significant hydrogen infrastructure and investments in Belgium, we are ideally positioned to bring solutions to decarbonise transports. We are convinced of the pivotal role that hydrogen will play in the energy transition, especially for heavy-duty applications. Air Liquide is proud to bring its 50 years of expertise in the hydrogen value chain to the HyTrucks project.”
Raf Flebus, BU manager of DATS 24, said: “Colruyt Group has produced its own, 100% green hydrogen for almost a decade. Three years ago, we opened the very first all inclusive public hydrogen fuel station in Europe. The upcoming months, four additional public fuel stations will be fitted with a hydrogen installation for cars: Haasrode, Wilrijk, Erpe-Mere & Herve. At the end of 2020, Colruyt Group also put the first 44-tonne hydrogen powered electric truck in Europe into service. So clearly, we believe fuel cell and hydrogen technology is a very promising zero-emission powertrain solution for transports and logistics. This HyTrucks project is yet another significant step towards zero emissions in transport.”
Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO of Port of Antwerp, said: “We want to give hydrogen every chance as an energy carrier, a basic element for chemistry and a fuel, and are therefore committing ourselves as an active pioneer in the hydrogen economy. As a world port and Europe’s largest integrated chemical cluster, we are an important link in this chain.Thanks to the collaboration between partners with the right expertise, we have all the assets we need to take further concrete steps in this regard and to set an example for other ports and regions.”
Air Liquide’s commitment to hydrogen energy
In the past 50 years, Air Liquide has developed unique expertise enabling it to master the entire hydrogen supply chain, from production and storage to distribution and the development of applications for end users, thus contributing to the widespread use of hydrogen as a clean energy source, for mobility in particular. Air Liquide has designed and installed more than 120 stations around the world to date. Hydrogen is an alternative to meet the challenge of clean transportation and thus contributes to the improvement of air quality. Used in a fuel cell, hydrogen combines with oxygen in the air to produce electricity, emitting only water. It does not generate any pollution at the point of use: zero greenhouse gases, zero particles and zero noise. Hydrogen provides a concrete response to the challenges posed by sustainable mobility and local pollution in urban areas.