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ORLEN starts a tender procedure to select the contractor for its hydrogen hub project

By Mary Page Bailey |

PKN Orlen (Płock, Poland) has commenced a process to select the contractor to build a hydrogen hub in Włocławek, designed to ultimately produce up to 600 kg of purified hydrogen per hour. The project, comprising the production unit and logistics and distribution infrastructure, is an important element furthering the Company’s emission neutrality strategy in the area of alternative fuels.

“Hydrogen is a fuel of the future that will be widely used not only in transport but also in power generation. We are already intensifying our activities to develop hydrogen technologies in order to gain a strong competitive position in this segment as of 2022. Our recently announced accession to the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance is going to be supportive in our efforts to fully capture the market opportunities related to broader use of alternative fuels,” said Daniel Obajtek, President of the PKN ORLEN Management Board. 

The new hydrogen hub will be situated on the premises of the ORLEN Group’s ANWIL plant in Włocławek. Initially, the project will run at a capacity of ca. 170 kg per hour, but its modular design will allow it to flexibly increase production in line with growth in demand. 

The hydrogen, which is now produced in Włocławek in the electrolysis process, will be purified to achieve fuel-cell grade quality with the pressure swing adsorption (PSA) method. The electrolysis process will make it possible to produce green emission-free hydrogen in the future, as the electrolyser will be powered with electricity from renewable sources, already being developed and implemented by the ORLEN Group. 

Initially, the fuel will be distributed primarily for use in public and freight transport. The Company has already signed a number of agreements with local authorities (including the Metropolitan Association of Upper Silesia and Dąbrowa Basin, Krakowski Holding Komunalny, Miejskie Przedsiębiorstwo Komunikacyjne of Kraków, and the City of Płock) which are potential customers for the hydrogen output. The project is planned to be completed in the first half of 2022. 

In addition to the hydrogen hub in Włocławek and a similar project planned in Płock, the Company is also developing hydrogen technologies at its ORLEN Południe biorefinery in Trzebinia, where first fuel-cell grade hydrogen is to be produced already in 2021.

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