Saudi Aramco to build Kingdom’s first hydrogen fueling station

Air Products’ proprietary SmartFuel hydrogen fueling technology will be incorporated into the new station

Saudi Aramco has announced that it will build the Kingdom’s first hydrogen fuel cell vehicle fueling station in partnership with US-based Air Products. The refueling station will supply high-purity compressed hydrogen and is expected to become operational in the second quarter of 2019.

The station will be located next to Air Products’ technology center in the Dhahran Techno Valley Science Park. As per the terms of the deal, Saudi Aramco and Air Products will also setup a pilot fleet of fuel cell vehicles.

The collaboration between the two companies will combine Air Products’ technological expertise and experience in the field of hydrogen with Saudi Aramco’s industrial experience, facilities and R&D capabilities, the statement said.

“Hydrogen fuel cells offer an effective means for the electrification of transport while maintaining easy, five-minute refueling and long driving ranges. 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,” remarked Ahmad O. Al Khowaiter, chief technology officer of Saudi Aramco.

The data collected during the pilot phase of the project will provide important information for the assessment of future applications of the technology in the Kingdom, Saudi Aramco noted.

Dr Samir Serhan, the executive VP at Air Products added, “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. It further illustrates our commitment to the Kingdom’s 2030 Vision.”

Japan-based Toyota will supply its Mirai Fuel Cell Vehicles for testing in the pilot project. The car-maker is said to have been investing in hydrogen for over 20 years and in 2014 introduced the Mirai, its first mass-produced hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.

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