Colruyt opens first "all-fuel" station: petrol, diesel, CNG and hydrogen
DATS24, owned by Belgian retailer Colruyt Group, is the first fuel provider to integrate a publically accessible hydrogen pump in an existing petrol station. The hydrogen distributed at DATS24 Halle (near Brussels) is 100 per cent green as it is produced using renewable electricity from energy specialist Eoly.
Colruyt Group believes that hydrogen can play an important role in making our mobility and energy supplies more sustainable. That is why it has been investing in this green energy carrier for years. Opening a filling station for hydrogen is an important next step and brings hydrogen one step closer to the consumer, it believes.
Building the hydrogen economy
Since 2004, Colruyt Group has invested 6 million euros in innovative hydrogen projects. For example, the group has been producing green hydrogen at the Dassenveld site for some years now. The distribution centre has 75 hydrogen forklift trucks. In addition, hydrogen is used for 13 passenger cars, which are used within the group. In France and Belgium, Colruyt Group also invests in hydrogen applications for heavy transport.
Together with partners Fluxys and Parkwind, the group is also working on a power-to-gas installation to convert green electricity into green hydrogen on an industrial scale as a buffer for fluctuations in (offshore) wind energy.
“This first public hydrogen filling station is certainly not an isolated case”, says Jef Colruyt, CEO of Colruyt Group. “Over the next five years, Colruyt Group intends to invest an extra 35 million euros in the hydrogen economy, including four new hydrogen filling stations.”
Applauded by Europe
European climate expert Jos Delbeke believes in the project: “The climate goals established by Europe in the Paris Agreement will intensify the fundamental changes already affecting the energy sector today. New technologies are marketed sooner than expected, and hydrogen is one of them. That’s why this initiative by Colruyt Group is particularly commendable.”
Hydrogen can be a lever for making the energy supply more sustainable. An oversupply of renewable energy from wind turbines or solar panels can be converted into hydrogen: an energy buffer. On less windy or sunny days, the locally stored hydrogen can be converted back to electricity (power-to-power). The green hydrogen can also be injected into the existing gas network, thereby offer solutions for domestic heating (power-to-gas) and industrial applications (power-to-industry).
Picture copyright: Hyundai, 2018