The Polish state-owned oil refiner and petrol retailer has announced it will create a production & distribution chain of low- and zero-emission hydrogen throughout Central Europe.
The company intends to build six plants: three in Poland, two in Czechia, and one in Slovakia, with a total production capacity of 50kt by 2030.
These electrolysis facilities, 250 MW combined, will be powered by renewable energy sources: solar and wind, including from Orlen and Northland Power's Baltic Power offshore farm (construction works on the potentially 1.2 GW-strong project will start in 2023).
The company also plans to erect hydrogen refuelling stations (for individual, public, and cargo transportation needs): 54, 26, and 22 in Poland, Slovakia, and Czechia, respectively.
Orlen already operates pilot hydrogen refuelling points at its service stations in Wolfsburg and Müllheim in Germany. With the target total production capacity of over 1,000 kg per hour, the company is building three automotive-grade hydrogen production plants in Poland.
In addition, Orlen wants to build three plants for converting municipal waste into low-emission hydrogen: two in Poland and one in Czechia.
"The ORLEN Group's bold and innovative projects implemented in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia can make it Central Europe's leader in hydrogen fuel. We know that this is extremely important both from the business and environmental perspective. Entering the market of sustainable hydrogen production will give us competitive advantages in the retail, refining and power generation business in the decades to come. It will also allow us to significantly reduce our carbon footprint, marking an important step towards achieving carbon neutrality in 2050," Daniel Obajtek, President of the PKN ORLEN Management Board, said.