Saudi Aramco and Air Products have signed an agreement to jointly-build Saudi Arabia’s first hydrogen fuel cell vehicle fuelling station.

The collaboration will combine Air Products’ experience in hydrogen with Saudi Aramco’s industrial experience, facilities and research and development capabilities.

Saudi Aramco and Air Products will establish a pilot fleet of fuel cell vehicles, Air Products’ proprietary SmartFuel® hydrogen fuelling technology will be incorporated into the new station to supply the vehicles with compressed hydrogen.

The collected data during the pilot phase of the project will provide information for the assessment of future applications of the emerging transport locally.

“Hydrogen fuel cells offer an effective means for the electrification of transport while maintaining easy, five-minute refuelling and long driving ranges,” said Ahmad O Al Khowaiter, Chief Technology Officer of Saudi Aramco.

“The use of hydrogen derived from oil or gas to power fuel cell electric vehicles represents an exciting opportunity to expand the use of oil in clean transport,” Khowaiter continued.

“We are honoured to work on another venture with Saudi Aramco to establish and develop a sustainable hydrocarbon-based hydrogen supply system for pilot demonstration of a fuel cell vehicle fleet in Saudi Arabia,” said Dr Samir Serhan, Executive Vice President at Air Products.

“It further illustrates our commitment to the Kingdom’s 2030 vision,” Serhan added.

The hydrogen refuelling station, set to be in operation during the second quarter of 2019, will be located within the ground of Air Products’ Technology Centre in the Dhahran Techno Valley Science Park.

Toyota Motor Corporation will supply Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell Vehicles for testing in the pilot project.