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Teesside Airport To Gain Hydrogen Refuelling Station After Funding Success

Posted in: Business News

Published on: 2nd August 2023

Teesside Airport is going even further in supporting the UK’s net zero agenda as Government today (2 August) announced it would become home to a new permanent hydrogen refuelling station.

The airport previously became home to a temporary refuelling station and secured low-emission hydrogen fuelled vehicles – including cars, truck, forklift, van and tug – as part of the region’s Tees Valley Hydrogen Transport Hub trial in 2021.

Now, after being successful in the Government’s latest £8million Hydrogen Transport Hub Demonstration, it will see a permanent hydrogen refuelling station based at its site. The Rt Hon Mark Harper MP, the Transport Secretary, made the announcement at Teesside Airport alongside Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen and representatives from Element 2.

Element 2, which established the previous station at the airport, will set up another temporary refuelling station during 2024 and then a new permanent station in late 2024 to early 2025.

As well as being used by the vehicles currently located at the airport, it will also provide fuel for hydrogen vehicles being trialled by local commercial fleets and authorities. IVe, which is delivering the next generation of sustainable light goods vehicles, is part of the project and will be trialling hydrogen vans at the site.

A second project, led by ULEMCo which also received a share of funding, will develop hydrogen powered airport ground-based support vehicles, such as tow trucks for airplanes and sweepers to clean runways.

The move not only builds on the UK’s drive towards decarbonisation but also supports the airport’s drive to become operationally net zero by 2030. Other schemes being championed by the airport include the development and adoption of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) by the industry, and a study to establish a local green energy company, including setting up solar panels on land next to the runway, is under way.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “We were one of the first areas to trial hydrogen fuels and this is continuing to pay off as we’ve been successful in securing this permanent refuelling station.

“Our airport and, indeed, our whole region continues to be at the forefront of the UK’s net zero ambitions, and this hydrogen station is another step forward to supporting the cleaner, healthier and safer industries of tomorrow. It backs up everything we’re doing in our low-carbon journey, including supporting the production and adoption of sustainable aviation fuel – one of the biggest issues facing the industry right now.

“The aim to have Teesside Airport operationally net zero by 2030 is only the beginning, We’re still pioneering offshore, carbon capture and renewable technologies over at Teesworks, to truly cement Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool as the place to do business in innovative and clean technologies.”

Phil Forster, Managing Director of Teesside International Airport, said: “We’re working hard to make Teesside an airport people can be proud of – and that doesn’t just mean flying to the destinations people love. It’s about acting responsibly, for the good of our local people and businesses and the future of our planet.

“This hydrogen refuelling station does just that, by proving this new technology is safe and reliable, and can be used across all sorts of applications. This makes it clear Teesside is helping to pioneer both the aviation industry and the clean energy sector.”

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: “Hydrogen technology has great potential to decarbonise transport and help grow the economy.

“Today’s winners illustrate the expertise the Tees Valley has as a pioneer in developing hydrogen tech. This investment will provide a further boost to the economy, creating skilled jobs and apprenticeships across the North East.”

Tim Harper, CEO of Element 2 said: “We are excited to have received funding to build a hydrogen refuelling hub at Teesside International Airport to fuel both road and airport demand. This is a fantastic opportunity to show how hydrogen can play a major role in the decarbonisation of road transport and airport operations.”

Funding for the project comes from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency.

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