New Zealand is set to develop its first national network of hydrogen stations from 2021 following the government's announcement that it has provisionally approved $20 million for Hiringa Energy to establish the infrastructure.
The $20m contribution from the Infrastructure Reference Group will help mobilise a further $49m from Hiringa Energy, joint venture partners and other private investors for the project, including Waitomo, TIL and TR Group.
The initiative will involve the installation of eight hydrogen refuelling stations located in Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, Manawatu, Auckland, Taupō, Wellington and Christchurch. These stations will allow refuelling of zero emission heavy duty vehicles (hydrogen powered fuel cell electric vehicles) such as trucks and buses.
This initial network will cover around 95% of heavy-duty routes in the North Island and 82% of the South Island.
"This is an exciting development that can kick-start the use of hydrogen as a low-emission transport fuel for New Zealand's energy future," said Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods.
"This Government funding plays a key role in stimulating private investment in infrastructure and gives operators the certainty to invest in fuel cell vehicles. The government funds committed will have a huge multiplier effect," says Hiringa Energy CEO Cathy Clennett.
In addition to the creation of the refuelling network, Hiringa Energy's other projects include domestic hydrogen production and helping organisations transition their fleet or energy needs to clean hydrogen.
In New Zealand there is currently 1 private refuelling point, with retail sales although prior contact is required.