Ampol has announced it’s partnering with United States-based hydrogen fuel provider OneH2 to offer a refuelling solution in Australia.
The company says it’s focusing on back-to-base hydrogen operations, and the program will primarily benefit operators of heavy transport vehicles early on.
“The OneH2 equipment is unique with its mobile refuelling offer as it eliminates expensive installations and provides refuelling flexibility for customers,” an Ampol spokesperson told CarExpert.
“We will continue to monitor the development of a number of ongoing renewable hydrogen production projects in Australia, and we will work with a variety of suppliers to ensure we have a safe and reliable supply chain as we scale up over time.”
CarExpert understands no plans have been officially formed regarding the locations or companies that would utilise this hydrogen solution.
However, a spokesperson from Ampol told CarExpert that in the next 6-12 months the company will make further announcements.
“Hydrogen has a key role to play in reducing emissions across Australia’s transport and broader energy sector and offers a unique opportunity to decarbonise hard to abate heavy transport and heavy machinery sectors,” said Ampol’s executive general manager for international and new business, Brent Merrick.
“We expect early hydrogen adoption within heavier vehicle fleets and operations who will benefit from short refuelling times and longer range compared to current battery electric alternatives,” he continued.
“Hydrogen as a transport fuel is not easy. Our experience in designing, manufacturing and deploying hydrogen equipment across the US over the last eight years, will allow us to accelerate its adoption in the Australian market,” said OneH2 president and CEO Paul Dawson.
In a report published this year, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) warned the fuel industry that it needed to increase its hydrogen investments to risk being left behind the likes of Europe.
Earlier this month, Ampol’s rival BP opened Australia’s first hydrogen refuelling site at a service station.
The centre has the capacity to refuel a hydrogen-powered vehicle in 3-5 minutes. The refuelling centre is currently being used to power the Queensland Government’s fleet of Hyundai Nexo crossovers.
Ampol has worked with hydrogen partners before, including Ireland-based Fusion Fuel Green with which it had planned to open a small-scale pilot hydrogen production facility in Queensland.
Last August, however, it announced it had decided to pause work on the facility.
“We have decided to pause our hydrogen project at Lytton for now,” Ampol chief executive officer Matt Halliday said at the time in remarks reported by Argus Media.
“Hydrogen is going to come, particularly in the hard-to-abate sectors, but it is going to take some time.”
In June 2021, Ampol also invested in CSIRO-backed startup Endua, which focuses on hydrogen storage.
Ampol has been working to increase its electric vehicle charging network across Australia. Under its AmpCharge brand, it currently has 22 EV charging sites within New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia.
The company says it wants to establish “the leading EV charging network in Australia by 2030”.