ORLEN will build the first hydrogen refuelling stations


PKN ORLEN has started the process of selecting a contractor for hydrogen refuelling stations. The first stations servicing buses and passenger cars will be built in Poznań and Katowice. Later this year, PKN Orlen will start building a hydrogen hub in Włocławek.

“We have no doubts that alternative fuels will play an increasingly important role in the development of the automotive industry. We want to be a leader in these changes, which is why we place emphasis on the construction of hydrogen hubs, and hydrogen technologies are one of the important elements of the ORLEN2030 strategy. We see particularly great potential for this fuel in public transport. Poznań and Katowice, where our first hydrogen refuelling stations will be built, are an example of PKN ORLEN’s cooperation with local governments, beneficial both from a business and environmental point of view”, said Daniel Obajtek, President of the Management Board of PKN ORLEN.

The development of production and distribution of alternative fuels is an important element of the ORLEN2030 strategy, and the construction of refuelling stations is an element of the ORLEN Group’s comprehensive hydrogen programme. It includes the construction of central sources for the production of high-purity hydrogen in Trzebinia and Włocławek. The hub in Trzebinia is under construction and will be launched by the end of 2021. The investment related to the construction of a hydrogen hub in Włocławek is at the final stage of the procurement procedure. The company plans to start construction later this year.

The choice of location for the refuelling stations is the result of agreements concluded with local governments interested in the development of zero-emission public transport. As a result, the investment, powered by hydrogen produced by the ORLEN Group, will supply fuel used commercially by municipal transport systems from the moment it is launched. According to estimates, the demand for hydrogen in each of the locations, depending on the number of buses available in the fleet, will be from 450 to 600 kg of hydrogen per day.

Hydrogen refuelling points will be located at operating ORLEN fuel stations, at Warszawska Street in Poznań and at Murckowska Street in Katowice. Each of them will have refuelling stations for passenger cars and buses. 

In the case of public transport vehicles, a pressure of 350 bar will be used for refuelling, which will make it possible to refill approx. 28 kg of fuel within 15 minutes. This amount allows you to travel about 400 kilometres. In practice, this means that, for example, the longest public transport route in Poznań, 26.8 km long, will be covered by a bus running along it approx. 15 times with one refuelling. The introduction of hydrogen buses makes it possible to reduce emissions and noise levels. Replacing one diesel city bus with a hydrogen-powered vehicle over its 12-year service life could prevent 800 tons of carbon dioxide from being emitted into the atmosphere. In addition, hydrogen powered bus drive systems are much quieter than traditional drives. 

700 bar pressure will be used for refuelling passenger cars, allowing the car to be fully refuelled within 5 minutes. In practice, about 5.25 kg of fuel will be delivered to the car, allowing to drive a distance of up to 700 km. 

The commencement of construction of hydrogen stations in Poland is the result of the alternative fuels development programme consistently implemented by the ORLEN Group. It involves the construction of hydrogen hubs in Trzebinia, Włocławek and Płock with a total production capacity of over 1,000 kg of high purity hydrogen per hour. Their modular structure will allow for flexible adaptation to market needs. When implementing investments in hydrogen infrastructure, PKN ORLEN uses the knowledge and experience related to process safety that it has gained when using hydrogen in refining and petrochemical processes for several dozen years. 

The development of the PKN ORLEN refuelling station network is based on the experience gained on the German market. Since 2017, there have been two hydrogen refuelling points located at ORLEN Group stations. In addition, PKN Orlen is carrying out advanced works on the construction of 3 hydrogen stations in the Czech Republic. In 2021, stations will be launched in Prague and Litvinov, and in 2022, more will be launched in Brno, Plzeň and Prague on the D10 motorway.