Polish Monopoly to Start Hydrogen R&D
Polish state oil and gas company PGNiG is to invest a modest sum in researching hydrogen technology for electricity and transport, as part of a new programme. The storage and transport of hydrogen using the gas network are part of Poland’s transition towards a green economy, which will extend to sales of hydrogen.
PGNiG plans to spend in excess of zloty 31 ($7.3)mn over the next four years on this but it did not say how this small sum would be allocated among its various projects or whether other partners would also contribute.
“We aim to expand our range to generate revenue from sales of a new fuel and related services and to help increase overall sales of gaseous fuels by PGNiG,” said CEO Jerzy Kwiecinski. “By implementing the hydrogen projects in the pipeline, PGNiG will contribute to expanding the market for alternative fuels and thus will contribute to Poland’s fulfilment of EU climate policy goals.”
Hydrogen has industrial power generation applications and turbines in combined heat and power plants can run on properly designed natural gas and hydrogen blends to produce heat and electricity. Hydrogen can also be used by other large industrial plants. The company has just signed a contract for the design and construction of an experimental hydrogen refuelling station.
The most advanced project is Hydra Tank, comprising an experimental hydrogen refuelling station. PGNiG has already signed a contract with a consortium of Polish- and UK-based companies to design and build the station. Slated for launch in 2021, the facility will be in the Wola District of Warsaw, near a compressed natural gas filling station. PNGiG was an early promoter of gas as transport fuel in the Baltic region, for waterborne and road vehicles.
PGNiG is also to build a ‘green hydrogen’ production facility in Odolanow under the InGrid power to gas project. It is scheduled to come on stream in 2022. PGNiG intends to use electricity generated by photovoltaic panels to power an electrolysis plant.
The PGNiG measurement and testing laboratory will expand its analytics capabilities to become the first laboratory in Poland and one of the few in Europe providing a hydrogen purity testing service. Once it is accredited, the lab will test alternative fuels for PGNiG, also providing the testing service to third parties on a commercial basis.
“The new hydrogen program is one example of PGNiG’s shift towards green energy. Over the next two to three years we want to create a coherent chain of hydrogen capabilities, enabling further growth in this field,” Kwiecinski said.