Saudi Aramco and U.S.-based industrial gas company Air Products signed an agreement to jointly build the first hydrogen fuel cell vehicle fueling station in Saudi Arabia, the Saudi energy giant announced Friday.
"The collaboration between the two companies will combine Air Products' technological know-how and experience in the field of hydrogen with Saudi Aramco’s industrial experience, facilities and R&D capabilities," the statement read.
According to the press release, Saudi Aramco and Air Products will establish a pilot fleet of fuel cell vehicles for which high-purity compressed hydrogen will be dispensed at the new fueling station.
Toyota Motor Corporation will supply Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell Vehicles for testing in this pilot project.
"Air Products’ proprietary SmartFuel hydrogen fueling technology will be incorporated into the new station to supply the vehicles with compressed hydrogen. The collected data during this pilot phase of the project will provide valuable information for the assessment of future applications of this emerging transport technology in the local environment," Saudi Aramco said.
Ahmad O. Al Khowaiter, chief technology officer of Saudi Aramco, said hydrogen fuel cells offer an effective means for the electrification of transport while maintaining easy, five-minute refueling and long driving ranges.
"The use of hydrogen derived from oil or gas to power fuel cell electric vehicles represents an exciting opportunity to expand the use of oil in clean transport," he added.
The station will be located within the grounds of Air Products Technology Center in the Dhahran Techno Valley Science Park, and is expected to be operational in the second quarter of 2019.
By Hale Turkes