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Expansion of H2 refueling infrastructure progresses

It is the 14th annual evaluation of, a website of Ludwig-Bölkow-Systemtechnik (LBST), and it reports another record. However, the 'record number' is very modest: in 2021, there are ...

It is the 14th annual evaluation of, a website of Ludwig-Bölkow-Systemtechnik (LBST), and it reports another record. The 'record number' is very modest: 142 hydrogen refueling stations went into operation worldwide in 2021. That is more than ever before, LBST notes.

Most H2 stations (89) came online last year in Asia, followed by Europe (37) and North America (13). Worldwide, 685 hydrogen refueling stations are in operation, and there are already concrete planning projects for a further 252 refueling station locations. Filling station infrastructure for hydrogen now exists in 33 countries, and with Hungary and Slovenia, where an H2 station went into operation in 2021, two more countries have been added where hydrogen can be refueled.

In Europe, Germany has the most developed H2 infrastructure with 101 stations, followed by France (41), the United Kingdom (19), Switzerland (12), and the Netherlands (11)l.

In Asia, Japan is the infrastructure leader with 159 stations, while Korea has 95 H2 refueling stations. According to LBST information, the 105 stations recorded in China are used almost exclusively for refueling buses and trucks.  

Of the 86 hydrogen stations recorded in North America, the majority (60 units) are in California. Last year, the majority also went into operation in the U.S. state, with 11 of a total of 13 H2 fueling stations.

To give a significant boost to the expansion of H2 refueling infrastructure in Germany, Austria and Denmark, Phillips 66 and H2 Energy have joined forces. The two group subsidiaries, Phillips 66 Limited and H2 Energy Europe AG, plan to form a 50:50 joint venture to establish up to 250 hydrogen refueling stations in the three countries by 2026. Phillips 66 operates in Europe under its JET brand, and its network in Germany currently comprises 819 refueling stations. Phillips 66 already has hydrogen filling stations in its portfolio, partly through its stake in the Swiss petroleum and service station company Coop Mineraloel AG. Coop Mineraloel opened its third H2 station last year, with more planned to follow.

H2 Energy, in turn, is a joint venture between commodity trading company Trafigura Pte Ltd. and H2 Energy Holding AG, a hydrogen supplier. Through its subsidiaries, H2 Energy was the first company to design and supply hydrogen fuel cell trucks to commercial users.

The two joint venture partners intend to use shared expertise to build a distribution network that brings together the energy carrier, tank logistics and vehicles. The partners' goal is to supply the refueling station network with green hydrogen when it becomes available, they said. H2 Energy's participation in Hyundai Hydrogen Mobility, which plans to bring fuel cell trucks to Swiss roads, is expected to create demand for the project partners.

The new joint venture's hydrogen fueling stations in Germany, Austria and Denmark are to be located at existing jet fueling stations as well as at new sites along major transportation axes.

"At Phillips 66, we believe that expanding access to hydrogen is critical to a lower-carbon energy future," said Brian Mandell, Phillips 66 executive vice president, marketing and commercial. "We are pleased to join forces with H2 Energy, who have been exceptionally successful in developing technologies across the hydrogen value chain."

Article by Imke Herzog
Article by Imke Herzog