Hydrogen fuel specialist, Element 2, has chosen Aberdeen as its first Scottish location to open a £2 million refuelling station.
The Skipton-based company is seeking a 2-acre site in Bridge of Don which will support four to six pumps capable of dispensing up to three tonnes of hydrogen fuel per day.
Tim Harper, Element 2 chief executive, said the Granite City was “picking up the baton to be a leading energy capital”.
Specialist commercial property company, Future NRG, has been commissioned by Element 2 to identify a suitable site in Bridge of Don to progress the lease agreement and relevant planning approvals.
The company said Bridge of Don was chosen as its located near potential customers based around Aberdeen Airport and commercial transport companies accessing the AWPR bypass and major A90 roads networks.
Former European Space Agency engineer Mr Harper, and fuel cells and hydrogen technology expert Brendan Bilton, has also identified Dundee and Glasgow, as focal points for establishing its Scottish refuelling network.
Mr Harper, Element 2 chief executive, said: “This is a major investment and an important first step in establishing Element 2’s credentials in Scotland as a leading hydrogen retailer.
“Aberdeen has long been established as Europe’s oil capital but the city is now picking up the baton to be a leading energy capital and to be at the forefront of energy transition as businesses gradually move towards a zero carbon future.
“We have been impressed by the forward thinking shown by local government leaders and business leaders in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire as the city and region makes a monumental shift in how it consumes energy, and so choosing Bridge of Don as the location for our first hydrogen refuelling station was always high on our agenda.”
Site could be underway next year
Element 2 are also in the process of securing office premises in Aberdeen and will recruit and train operators and maintenance engineers to service the hydrogen refuelling systems.
Depending on planning consent, the site could be operational in the first quarter of 2022.
Aberdeen played a role in the early adoption of hydrogen vehicles, opening a bus refuelling station in 2015.
Part of a previous £19m green transport demonstration project, the Kittybrewster centre was the UK’s first.
It has since opened to the public to allow refuelling of hydrogen cars and vans too, with a second opening in Cove in 2017.
The world’s first hydrogen double-deckers were launched in Aberdeen earlier this year.
The group, which is currently backed by high net worth individuals and its management team, has plans to raise further funds. It aims to invest £1 billion over the next 10 years in rolling out a hydrogen refuelling network which will boast 2,000 H2 pumps across the UK, including more than 250 pumps in Scotland over the next six years, which will increase to 300 by 2030.
Jenny Laing, Aberdeen City Council’s Labour leader, said: “We welcome this move by Element 2 as our hydrogen strategy aims for both continuing public and private sector investment in hydrogen technology in the Aberdeen City Region.
“Organisations scoping investment opportunities from hydrogen in the area, developing supply chains, and creating jobs supports one of our priorities for the future of the energy transition away from reliance on oil and gas.
“Aberdeen City Council has maintained a lead developing hydrogen technology over the past decade and we have recently announced our intention to procure a joint venture partner and continue to accelerate the hydrogen sector’s economic development.”