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Hiringa Refuelling builds green hydrogen refuelling network

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Hiringa Refuelling New Zealand is starting the construction phase of the first four high-capacity green hydrogen refuelling stations for zero-emission heavy FCEVs (fuel cell electric vehicles) such as trucks and buses.

These will form part of a nationwide refuelling network, shifting the heavy transport sector towards decarbonization.

Andrew Clennett, CEO of Hiringa Energy, says this initial phase represents a total investment of NZ$50m, to install the stations in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, and Palmerston North. This includes significant detailed engineering and compliance work completed to date, and builds on close collaboration with our supplier partners to create a fully integrated network solution.

“We are delighted to reach this crucial milestone in the rollout of Hiringa Refuelling New Zealand’s hydrogen refuelling network. Creating material change at this scale is incredibly exciting. This achievement is the result of collaborating with our key partner companies and working closely with central and regional government, all of whom have the central aim of making green hydrogen refuelling for heavy transport a reality in New Zealand,” said Clennett.

Instrumental to commencing construction is a NZ$16m investment from the New Zealand Government, as part of the COVID-19 Recovery Fund and the growth capital from our key investors including Sir Stephen Tindall’s fund K1W1, and international investment from Asia and North America. These investments build on Hiringa Energy’s Strategic Alliance Agreement with Mitsui and Co. (Asia Pacific), and the memorandum of cooperation on hydrogen between Japan and New Zealand.

“The New Zealand Government’s support in the early decarbonisation of heavy road transport has played a vital role in providing many logistics operators and their customers with the confidence to invest in and support zero-emissions FCEVs,” said Clennett. “Knowing that affordable, accessible, and reliable sources of green hydrogen will be readily available is critical to creating a viable platform for Kiwi companies to innovate and create new low-emission business opportunities.

Koji Nagatomi, COO of Mitsui’s Asia Pacific Business Unit & CEO of Mitsui & Co. (Asia Pacific) said: “This is a rare opportunity to commercialise green hydrogen and decarbonise heavy duty vehicles. We believe New Zealand is an ideal market to develop and demonstrate the viability of green hydrogen as a next generation fuel.”

Clennett adds, “The necessary uptake of vehicles is being facilitated by TR Group, New Zealand’s largest heavy vehicle fleet owner, with support of the New Zealand Government through a NZ$6m investment in the purchase of the first 20 FCEV trucks. TR Group will own and lease the trucks to several leading logistics companies and their end customers as foundation participants in the greening of heavy road transport in New Zealand.”

“We have strategically selected the initial network locations to provide coverage for the major heavy freight routes in the North Island. The facilities will be co-located with well placed existing truck refuelling sites, owned and operated by Waitomo Group. This is an excellent example of aligned companies leaning in and partnering to enable change.”

“We are planning to expand our network into the South Island through 2023, to provide full coverage of all New Zealand’s heavy freight routes. As demand for zero-emission transport grows, over 24 Hiringa Refuelling New Zealand high-capacity refuelling stations are planned to come online across New Zealand in the next 4-5 years to support a growing fleet of vehicles.

“If New Zealand is to meet its climate commitments, decarbonising the heavy transport sector is an imperative. Hiringa Energy will continue to work with leading international Automotive OEMs to ensure there continues to be access to the tens of thousands of suitable zero-emission vehicles that NZ requires to decarbonise it’s transport fleets,” said Clennett.

The initial cohort of 20 FCEV trucks selected to underpin the network are being supplied by Hyzon Motors, a NY-headquartered heavy FCEV manufacturer. Working with Hyzon under a Heads of Agreement, Hiringa and partners have ensured the trucks, with a combined mass of over 50 tonnes, are specified to meet New Zealand regulations and the demanding road conditions. Capable of over 600km of range between refuelling stops, this is similar to existing diesel-based offerings.

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