Ground to be broken on New Zealand’s first green hydrogen refuelling site

In News3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineMay 5, 2022

Hiringa Energy and Waitomo Group will start construction of New Zealand’s first high-capacity green hydrogen refuelling station in Palmerston North this week.

The site, adjacent to Palmerston North Airport, is the first of four planned hydrogen refuelling stations.

It will be one of the first refuelling networks for heavy transport in the world.

Financial backing for the project has been provided through investment from Hiringa’s Strategic Alliance partners, Mitsui and Co (Asia-Pacific), Government funding from EECA and the Covid-19 Recovery Fund, and growth capital from key investors including Sir Stephen Tindall’s K One W One and international funders.

Waitomo Group is self-funding its investment in the project.

Specialist hydrogen equipment for the station has been sourced from Europe. The station will be built next to a Waitomo Group Fuel Stop, servicing petrol and diesel customers. Once operational, hydrogen-powered heavy transport vehicles such as trucks and buses will be able refuel at the station in similar time to what they are used to.

Another three hydrogen refuelling stations are due to begin construction later this year, in Hamilton, Tauriko and Auckland, creating a North Island network servicing more than 95% of New Zealand’s heavy freight routes.

More than NZ$50-million has been invested in the first phase of the project and detailed engineering and compliance work has been completed. Resource consent has been granted for both the Palmerston North and Hamilton sites, and applications are in for the Tauriko and Auckland sites.

Expansion of the refuelling network into the South Island will begin in 2023, with 24 high-capacity refuelling stations due to come online across New Zealand in the next four to five years to support a growing fleet of hydrogen-powered vehicles.

An initial fleet of 20 zero-emission Hyzon hydrogen-powered trucks to utilise the network has been purchased by TR Group. Built to meet New Zealand regulations and the demanding road conditions, the trucks will be capable of over 600km of range between refuelling stops.

Hyundai New Zealand is bringing five hydrogen fuel-cell Xcient heavy-duty trucks to New Zealand, with the second arriving soon. Both Hyzon and Hyundai have received support from EECA funding.