Costain chosen to lead hydrogen refuelling station study

Newport, Wales: Costain has been chosen by Wales & West Utilities (WWU) to lead a study into how hydrogen refuelling stations can be integrated into the UK’s existing gas network.

The research, funded by Ofgem, will explore the potential of using the UK’s natural gas network – which provides energy to homes, businesses, and large industry – as hydrogen fuelling infrastructure in anticipation of increased demand for zero-emissions vehicles.

The research will consider infrastructure solutions which increase the viability of hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs). These low-emission vehicles could be a sustainable alternative to traditional petrol and diesel vehicles, thanks to hydrogen having a similar refuelling process. The technology offers advantages for heavy-duty vehicles which typically have high daily mileage and limited refuelling windows.

The study is part of a WWU initiative called HyDrive, which seeks to address the lack of hydrogen refuelling infrastructure across Wales and the south west of England.

Costain’s researchers will consult key regional stakeholders to understand current road transport demands, model and forecast future demands on the network, and recommend potential locations where existing petrol stations could be converted to hydrogen refuellers.

Laura Hughes, energy sector director at Costain, said:

“Hydrogen will play an important role in the UK’s decarbonisation and energy transition ambitions. Through its HyDrive initiative, Wales & West Utilities is leading the way and our research will help improve understanding of the hurdles which need to be overcome to make hydrogen-powered vehicles a reality.

 Matthew Hindle, head of net zero and sustainability at Wales and West Utilities added:

“HyDrive is a hugely important initiative for us as we seek to reduce carbon emissions across Wales and the south west of England. Having successfully trialled a hydrogen van earlier this year, one of the challenges was the lack of hydrogen refuelling in the area.”