Manawatu one of first regions for hydrogen refuelling

3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineAugust 28, 2020

Manawatu is set to become a big part of the green hydrogen economy with Hiringa Energy selecting the region for a green hydrogen fuelling facility, one of the first in an initial eight sites across New Zealand.

“It is extremely positive that Manawatu has been chosen by Hiringa Energy,” says Linda Stewart, chief executive of the Central Economic Development Agency (CEDA).

“Hiringa‘s decision to establish one of New Zealand‘s first nationwide network of hydrogen fuelling stations in Manawatu is an exciting development that puts the region firmly at the heart of green freight logistics. 

“CEDA has worked closely with Hiringa Energy to facilitate this investment by connecting businesses, councils, and key stakeholders. This project has been a long-term priority for CEDA and will support regional economic growth,” says Stewart.

The vision is a green hydrogen ecosystem that leverages the region‘s core skills and its green energy resources. Manawatu is uniquely blessed with what is needed to make green hydrogen fuel at scale and that is water and renewable energy. The region has over 500MW of green wind energy in production, building or consented, a capacity greater than the South Island‘s Clyde Dam. 

Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles are fully electric, but instead of storing electricity in batteries, hydrogen is passed through a fuel stack to generate electricity on the go. This is not only clean but also 100% renewable because the only emission is water. A hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle truck refuels at a pump like a normal truck does. This is not only much faster than recharging a battery, but also means there is no trade-off in terms of weight or range, making them ideal for freight. 

“The Manawatu has excellent locational and logistical advantages, being a distribution point for the lower North Island. It is set to become a nationally important logistics centre with KiwiRail‘s regional freight Hhub, the Te Ahu a Turanga Manawatu Tararua Highway, and Palmerston North‘s planned regional freight ring road,” Stewart added.

“As climate change is one of the greatest challenges we face, by marrying Hiringa‘s hydrogen know-how with Manawatu‘s green energy, it opens up a bright and exciting future for Manawatu in green logistics and freight.”