Ballast Nedam is to build its first 700-bar hydrogen refuelling station, for the Flemish-Dutch WaterstofNet. This refuelling station type will be suitable for hydrogen-fuelled passenger cars that are to be introduced onto the market.

The station will be built as part of the cross-border ‘Hydrogen Region Flanders-Netherlands’ Interreg IVA programme.This will be Ballast Nedam’s first 700-bar hydrogen refuelling station in the Netherlands, and the company will be responsible for its maintenance for two years. The number of refuelling stations of this type in Europe is heading towards 25, mainly in Germany and Scandinavia.

Like the 700-bar stations abroad, this Dutch hydrogen refuelling station meets with the latest hydrogen-fuelled passenger vehicle communication standards and cooling requirements for complete and safe refuelling. It takes less than three minutes to fill the tank of a passenger car with approximately 5kg of hydrogen, on which it can run for over 500km. These electrically propelled vehicles produce zero emissions.

Hydrogen is widely considered as an important fuel for a zero-emission future, in which passenger cars will be filled with hydrogen at 700-bar, and other vehicles (buses, goods vehicles and fork-lift trucks) at 350-bar. In the future scenarios, hydrogen will be produced using solar and wind-generated green electricity, where hydrogen production can also help correct demand- and supply imbalances in the electricity grid. Currently Ballast Nedam is also building a refuelling station for WaterstofNet on the AutomotiveCampusNL in Helmond. The hydrogen for this refuelling station is produced using green electricity and will be able to serve the first 350-bar vehicles in the second half of 2013. The AutomotiveCampusNL in Helmond is also being investigated as a possible site for the 700-bar hydrogen refuelling station.

Rien van Alphen, Managing Director of Ballast Nedam IPM comments, “This 700-bar hydrogen refuelling station completes our product range. We now have the capability to deliver refuelling stations for any alternative transport fuel, including CNG/green gas, LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) LBM (Liquefied BioMethane), electricity and hydrogen. With its operations on the niche market of alternative fuels, Ballast Nedam is contributing to the complete decarbonisation of urban transport in 2050, which is a central priority in the European Commission’s long-term strategy”.

Wouter van der Laak, New Fuels product manager at Ballast Nedam IPM, adds, “We are observing an increase in the number of hydrogen initiatives in various markets, such as public transport, which is to be completely ‘zero emission’ in 2025. Our knowledge and skills mean we can be flexible enough to respond to this while offering customers a safe and reliable product. Our focus is on client-specific design at an acceptable price, and in particular on aspects such as operating life, and service & maintenance.”

Adwin Martens, Managing Director of WaterstofNet says, “It is important for the development of hydrogen in the region that a player such as Ballast Nedam, with its many years of experience in the construction and maintenance of the current refuelling stations, expands its activities into the development of hydrogen refuelling stations. This reference will be a strong basis for the development of additional hydrogen infrastructure in the Flanders-Netherlands region and beyond.”