Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Hydrogen Station in Muenster Inaugurated

Source: NOW GmbH (National Organisation Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology), 5th December 2016

Berlin/Münster, 5 December 2016 – Vehicles can now fill up with hydrogen at the Westfalen service station in the Amelsbüren district of Münster: Westfalen continues its collaboration with the Clean Energy Partnership (CEP) and has taken an important step in their joint development of a nationwide hydrogen infrastructure in Germany.


The new hydrogen station is located close to the A1 in the Hansa Business Park, at Kopenhagener Strasse 19 in the industrial estate. The official inauguration ceremony was attended by North Rhine-Westphalia’s Environment Minister Johannes Remmel; the Chairman of the Board of the Westfalen Group, Wolfgang Fritsch-Albert; Thorsten Herbert, Head of Transport and Infrastructure at the National Organisation for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NOW); and Deputy Chairman of the Clean Energy Partnership, Heinrich Klingenberg.

At the opening ceremony, Johannes Remmel, the North Rhine-Westphalian Minister for Climate Change, Environment, Agriculture, Nature and Consumer Protection, said: “Nitrogen dioxide pollution is the number one problem in our efforts to keep the air clean – and not just in North-Rhine-Westphalia. The results of the latest air quality measurements also show that nitrogen dioxide in the air endangers the health of people in cities in many places, which is why nitrogen pollution must be quickly and effectively reduced. Our goal is emissions-free mobility by 2030. The opening of the hydrogen station in Münster is one step on this path towards finally having clean, emission-free mobility.”

The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) is promoting the construction and operation of the service station with 1.5 million euros as part of the National Innovation Programme for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP). “The National Innovation Programme for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology has made a decisive contribution to trialling the interplay of fuel-cell vehicles, hydrogen filling stations, green hydrogen production, and their use by customers in everyday life, to such an extent that we are now at the early stages of commercialising the technology in the transport sector,” said Thorsten Herbert of NOW.

At the Münster site, the Westfalen Group presented the latest technology for hydrogen stations with two fuel pumps: one with 700-bar technology for cars, the other with 350-bar technology for cars and buses. The investment costs of this project came to three million euros. The state funding rate for the eligible portion of the measure is 48 percent, with the Westfalen Group covering the largest sum. Wolfgang Fritsch-Albert, Chairman & CEO of the Westfalen Group, said: “Modern service stations and our high level of expertise regarding technical gases have been part of our core business for decades. In Amelsbüren, we combine the two to move forward on our path of promoting environmentally friendly energy. As the only SME in the CEP, we are proud to have accomplished this beacon project.”

Heinrich Klingenberg, Deputy Chairman of the Clean Energy Partnership, said: “The hydrogen station in Amelsbüren near Autobahn 1 is another important step towards the establishment of a network of hydrogen filling stations in Germany. One particularly noteworthy positive aspect is that not only is the network of service stations along the autobahns being extended, but that buses can also refuel here. The CEP would especially like to thank Westfalen AG, as well as the local authorities, for their commitment and support.”

The station in Münster brings the number of completed hydrogen stations in Germany to 24. They are sponsored by the federal government through its National Innovation Program Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP) as research and development projects. The existing filling stations already ensure the supply of the metropolitan regions of Berlin, Hamburg, Rhine / Ruhr, Stuttgart and Munich; the service stations currently in operation reach six million people. North Rhine-Westphalia alone has three stations, with five others in the region at the preparatory stages.

The construction of a nationwide hydrogen infrastructure in Germany goes hand in hand with the planned market ramp-up of fuel-cell vehicles by various manufacturers. The Münster site is part of a plan, launched in 2012, to expand the German H2 network to a total of 50 locations. The development of these hydrogen stations is promoted by the federal government through the National Innovation Program for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP) with 28 million euros.

In the CEP, leading industrial companies work together towards significantly reducing CO2 emissions by the year 2050 – especially in road transport, and using hydrogen as an alternative fuel. Hydrogen-powered vehicles use fuel-cell drive technology. In a fuel cell, hydrogen and oxygen react in a chemical process. This releases the energy stored in the hydrogen as electricity, which drives the electric motor. In other words, a fuel-cell car is also an electric car. Operating a fuel-cell vehicle produces no CO2 emissions, only water vapour. Beyond this, electric mobility based on fuel-cell vehicles has two other fundamental advantages: long ranges and short refuelling times.

For more information about NOW GmbH (National Organisation Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology), please visit  https://www.now-gmbh.de.

CONTACT

Thorsten Herbert
Head of Programme Fuel Cells
+49-(0)30-311 61 16-18
thorsten.herbert@now-gmbh.de