ITM Power Announces the formation of the H2OzBus Project: Deploying Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus Fleets for Public Transport across Australia

  • May 22, 2020
  • Fuelcells Works

ITM Power (AIM: ITM), the energy storage and clean fuel company is pleased to announce the formation of the H2OzBus Project (“the Project”) and the signing of a memorandum of understanding with strategic partners (“the Consortium”).

The Consortium comprises Transit Systems, part of the SeaLink Travel Group, Ballard Power Systems, BOC Limited, Palisade Investment Partners, and ITM Power. The Consortium partners have signed a memorandum of understanding as a further step in evaluating and demonstrating the concept of hydrogen fuel cell electric buses for use in public bus transport in Australia.

The Consortium will collaborate on a project to further investigate deploying an initial 100 hydrogen fuel cell electric buses in cities across Australia in Phase 1, with the intention to use this as a seed for more widespread roll-out. Hydrogen fuel cell electric buses for public transport has alignment to ARENA’s (Australian Renewable Energy Agency) key investment priorities in Accelerating Hydrogen and Decarbonising Industry.

The first phase of the Project is a concept development phase that will focus on infrastructure requirements and detailed plans for use of hydrogen fuel cell electric buses on bus routes in up to 10 central hub locations across Australia where interest and demand for fuel cell buses has already been identified.

The Consortium is leveraging the strengths of each partner as they work towards an agreement on feasibility, scope, and funding of the next phase of the Project. The key expertise that each partner in the Consortium brings to the project and their proposed roles in the Project are: ITM Power and BOC will provide the hydrogen production and refueling infrastructure; Ballard Power Systems will supply the fuel cell system to be integrated into the electric buses supplied by supporting bus manufacturers; Transit Systems, will maintain and operate the vehicles as part of their daily urban transit operations (or within a strategically located project managed by Transit Systems), and: Palisade Investment Partners will assist in providing funding and strategic financial oversight, for the Project.

Clint Feuerherdt, CEO SeaLink Travel Group said: “The establishment of the H2OzBus group demonstrates our commitment to innovation and showcases the network and capabilities of our globally recognised transport group. It seeks to provide a “turn-key” solution to generate a “zero emission” outcome in public transport. We are proud to work alongside our Government partners and agencies, as well as industry partners to ensure that our solutions continue to set the benchmark for what is possible.”

Dr Neil Thompson, Managing Director of ITM Power Pty Ltd, commented: “H2OzBus is an exciting project which builds on the international partnerships that have been developed in recent years by ITM Power in the fuel cell electric bus markets across the UK and France. This project provides the first application in Australia of our new 2MW PEM module that has been developed as a result of the REFHYNE project in Germany with Shell and represents a significant scale-up from our sub-1MW foundation projects for Toyota Australia and BOC Australia.”

Vesna Olles, Director for Strategy & Business Development, BOC said: “BOC is committed to developing a future Australian transport industry significantly powered by hydrogen. As part of Linde plc, a global leader in hydrogen and hydrogen refuelling technology, BOC will share its technical expertise to scale-up Australian hydrogen supply for the innovative new national bus fleet. Integrating hydrogen in light transport and rolling out hydrogen refuelling infrastructure in major cities is one of the key priorities outlined in the Federal Government’s National Hydrogen Strategy. We look forward to working with all parties involved in the H2OzBus project.”

Randy MacEwen, President & CEO of Ballard Power Systems, said: “Formation of this new H2OzBus Project to address zero-emission public transit needs in Australia, will provide bus operators with an alternative electric bus option with no compromise on performance and operation. Use cases requiring extended range, air conditioning and rapid refuelling are an ideal fit for our fuel cell systems, which have been proven through more than 30-million kilometres of on-road experience to date.”

Roger Lloyd, Managing Director & CEO of Palisade Investment Partners said: “Palisade believes green hydrogen will play an important role in the further decarbonisation of our economy, providing an alternate fuel source and an energy storage mechanism. We are an active investor in renewable energy and transportation and are delighted to work with industry leading partners and the Government on the H2OzBus project.”

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