Hiringa commences construction of nationwide green hydrogen refuelling network

In News4 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineNovember 4, 2021

Hiringa Refuelling New Zealand is commencing the construction phase of the first four high-capacity green hydrogen refuelling stations for zero-emission heavy fuel cell electric vehicles, such as trucks and buses.

These will form part of a nationwide refuelling network, shifting the heavy transport sector towards decarbonisation.

The initial phase represents a total investment of NZ$50 million, to install the stations in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, and Palmerston North. This includes significant detailed engineering and compliance work completed to date, and builds on close collaboration with supplier partners to create a fully integrated network solution.

“We are delighted to reach this crucial milestone in the rollout of Hiringa Refuelling New Zealand hydrogen refuelling network,” said Andrew Clennett, CEO of Hiringa Energy.

“Creating material change at this scale is incredibly exciting. This achievement is the result of collaborating with our key partner companies and working closely with central and regional government, all of whom have the central aim of making green hydrogen refuelling for heavy transport a reality in New Zealand.”

Clennett said instrumental to commencing construction is a NZ$16 million investment from the New Zealand Government, as part of the Covid-19 Recovery Fund and the growth capital from key investors including Sir Stephen Tindall’s fund K1W1, and international investment from Asia and North America.

“These investments build on Hiringa Energy’s Strategic Alliance Agreement with Mitsui and Co. (Asia Pacific) Pte Ltd, and the memorandum of cooperation on hydrogen between Japan and New Zealand,” he said.

“The New Zealand Government’s support in the early decarbonisation of heavy road transport has played a vital role in providing many logistics operators and their customers with the confidence to invest in and support zero-emissions FCEVs,” said Clennett.

“Knowing that affordable, accessible, and reliable sources of green hydrogen will be readily available is critical to creating a viable platform for Kiwi companies to innovate and create new low-emission business opportunities.”

Clennett said the necessary uptake of vehicles is being facilitated by TR Group, New Zealand’s largest heavy vehicle fleet owner, with support of the New Zealand Government through a NZ$6 million investment in the purchase of the first 20 FCEV trucks.

TR Group will own and lease the trucks to several logistics companies and end customers as foundation participants in the greening of heavy road transport in New Zealand.

“We have strategically selected the initial network locations to provide coverage for the major heavy freight routes in the North Island. The facilities will be co-located with well-placed existing truck refuelling sites, owned, and operated by Waitomo Group. This is an excellent example of aligned companies leaning in and partnering to enable change,” he said.

Hiringa plans to expand its network into the South Island through 2023, to provide full coverage of all New Zealand’s heavy freight routes.

As demand for zero-emission transport grows, over 24 Hiringa Refuelling New Zealand high-capacity refuelling stations are planned to come online across New Zealand in the next four to five years to support a growing fleet of vehicles.

“If New Zealand is to meet its climate commitments, decarbonising the heavy transport sector is an imperative,” Clennett said.

“Hiringa Energy will continue to work with leading international Automotive OEMs to ensure there continues to be access to the tens of thousands of suitable zero-emission vehicles that NZ requires to decarbonise it’s transport fleets.”