Customers can buy conventional and green fuels at the DATS 24 fuel service station in Halle (Dassenveld), as well as 100% green hydrogen that is produced using renewable electricity from energy specialist Eoly.
The integration of a hydrogen pump in a 'traditional' fuel service station is unique in Europe. Colruyt Group believes that hydrogen can play an important role in making our mobility and energy supplies more sustainable. That is why it has been investing in this green energy carrier for years. Opening a filling station for hydrogen is an important next step and brings hydrogen one step closer to the consumer. Colruyt Group explicitly calls on other companies to also fully opt for an energy transition, with hydrogen as the important lever.
Since 2004, Colruyt Group has invested 6 million euros in innovative hydrogen projects. For example, the group has been producing green hydrogen at the Dassenveld site for some years now. The distribution center has 75 hydrogen forklift trucks. In addition, hydrogen is used for 13 passenger cars, which are used within the group. In France and Belgium, Colruyt Group also invests in hydrogen applications for heavy transport. Together with partners Fluxys and Parkwind, the group is also working on a power-to-gas installation to convert green electricity into green hydrogen on an industrial scale as a buffer for fluctuations in (offshore) wind energy.
“This first public hydrogen filling station is certainly not an isolated case”, says Jef Colruyt, CEO of Colruyt Group. “Over the next five years, Colruyt Group intends to invest an extra 35 million euros in the hydrogen economy, including four new hydrogen filling stations.”
Hydrogen as fuel (power-to-mobility) offers many advantages. Its raw materials, namely water and electricity, are inexhaustible. Furthermore, hydrogen fuel can be produced using renewable energy, meaning that even the process itself is completely 'green'. Hydrogen-fuelled vehicles do not emit any harmful substances, only water vapour. A car can be fully refuelled in five minutes.
Nevertheless, Colruyt Group makes no claims for hydrogen being the only or best mobility solution. “We believe that sustainable mobility cannot be achieved by following a single path, but requires a combination of solutions”, explains Jef Colruyt. “The mobility solution depends on many factors. Hydrogen and electricity are the future for zero-emission vehicles. However, CNG cars and plug-in hybrids will also continue to play their part during the transition period. The new hydrogen filling station is unique in Europe because it offers green hydrogen as well as all the other fuels, including electricity, CNG, petrol, diesel and AdBlue.”
DATS 24 will continue to systematically increase its network for alternative fuels. In the meantime, 59 filling stations are now equipped with a CNG pump and 61 shops and 2 central buildings have electric charging stations. In 2019, the fuel specialist plans to open a second hydrogen filling station in Wilrijk. PWKD09102018