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First UK integrated hydrogen transport system to launch in London and South East

A consortium of companies in the UK with expertise in hydrogen transport infrastructure is launching the London Hydrogen Network Expansion (LHNE) project, to roll out the UK’s first hydrogen powered transport system across London and the South East.

The consortium, led by Air Products, will deliver a publicly accessible, state-of-the-art, fast-fill 700 bar (10 000 psi) renewable hydrogen fuelling station network. The three-year LHNE project – co-funded by the government's Technology Strategy Board – will also deploy new hydrogen vehicles in London, including a number of Hyundai hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles as well as hydrogen internal combustion engine (HICE) vans from Revolve Technologies.

Creating this network is particularly important because the major automakers have confirmed that the hydrogen vehicles available for purchase in the UK from 2014–15 will require 700 bar fuelling systems. The LHNE project will upgrade the existing fuelling station located near Heathrow Airport to 700 bar, and deliver a new hydrogen fuelling station to this specification in London.

In addition, the project will increase accessibility to the dual-pressure hydrogen fuelling station at Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire, and at the Transport for London hydrogen station in Stratford in east London.

These developments will create the first network of 700 bar hydrogen fuelling stations in the UK, ready to meet increasing demand for hydrogen fuelling. The functionality of this network will then be proved by a fleet of hydrogen vans which will be operated by Commercial Group as part of its delivery network.

‘The LHNE project will bring together all the components necessary to make hydrogen transport possible across London and the South East, as we prepare for the arrival in the UK of commercially available hydrogen vehicles,’ explains Diana Raine, European Business Manager for Hydrogen Energy at Air Products. ‘We hope that this project will act as an exciting demonstration model to be replicated across the UK and Europe in years to come.’

The LHNE consortium comprises Air Products, Cenex – Centre of Excellence for low carbon and fuel cell technologies, Commercial Group, Element Energy, Heathrow Airport, and Revolve Technologies (which provided the HICE vans for the Hydrogen On Site Trial project run by ITM Power).

The project is co-funded by a grant from the UK’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board. It is one of five research and development projects selected by the Technology Strategy Board last July to help accelerate the adoption of energy systems using hydrogen and fuel cell technologies, bringing them into everyday use. The Mayor of London and the Greater London Authority will play a supporting role in the project.

A year ago the UKH2Mobility project was launched to ensure the UK is well placed to handle the commercial rollout of hydrogen FCEVs to consumers by 2015. The initiative brings together government departments and 13 industrial partners from the utility, gas, infrastructure, and global car manufacturing sectors.

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