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Air Liquide's new hydrogen filling center in Tianjin to break ground

  • China
  • Hydrogen

On March 2, Air Liquide China conducted a ground-breaking ceremony for its new hydrogen filling center in the Binhai New Area, Tianjin. As part of an agreement signed with Tianjin Port Free Trade Zone in 2023, Air Liquide is investing RMB 145 million to build, own and operate the hydrogen filling center designed to support the development of hydrogen ecosystem in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei (Jingjinji) Region.  

A hydrogen filling center is a conditioning unit in which gaseous hydrogen received by pipeline is compressed in order to transport it using tube trailer trucks to either hydrogen refueling station (HRS) or industrial customers. Air Liquide's new center will have a 8 tonnes per day filling capacity and is expected to be operational by the end of 2024. 

Air Liquide China enjoys a leading position in the industrial gas market of the Jingjinji region, including hydrogen where it already operates two hydrogen filling centers with a total capacity of 4.2 tonnes per day to support glass-making, optical fiber, metallurgy and electronics customers. The new filling center will leverage hydrogen with low carbon footprint to supply compressed hydrogen to Hydrogen Refueling Stations (HRS) in the region and also to industrial customers. 

In line with ADVANCE, the Group's Strategic Plan, Air Liquide is committed to reducing the carbon emission of its own assets and providing its customers with solutions enabling them to reduce their carbon footprint. Hydrogen is an important part of China's national energy and industrial strategy. In its "Medium and Long-term Plan for the Development of Hydrogen Energy Industry (2021-2035)", it aims to deploy 50,000 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (HFCV) by 2025. As one of the five fuel cell vehicle demonstration city clusters, Tianjin plans to build at least 10 HRS and deploy 2,000 fuel cell vehicles by 2025. Through its investment, Air Liquide contributes to supporting decarbonization initiatives in China, as part of the country's carbon neutrality goals. 

Rui Coelho, CEO of Air Liquide China, said: "Hydrogen is a key vector to accelerate the energy transition. With 60 years of expertise in the hydrogen value chain, Air Liquide is pleased to partner with the Tianjin Government to lead the hydrogen upstream deployment in Tianjin Port Free Trade Zone. We will leverage our technological knowhow and operations experience, and actively cooperate with local authorities, energy players and fleet operators to contribute to decarbonizing mobility and creating a more sustainable future."