Hydrogen is key to global decarbonization

Pablo Gómez, general manager of FM Logistic, has participated in the round table organized by ACE (Spanish Shippers Association) under the name “Hydrogen to boost freight…

Em October 28, 2022

Pablo Gómez, general manager of FM Logistic, has participated in the round table organized by ACE (Spanish Shippers Association) under the name “Hydrogen to boost freight transport” during the Logistics & Automation fair held in recent days at IFEMA.

Pablo was joined at this table by Esperanza Montero, hydrogen & energy transition product manager at Hidrocarburos Metálicos, and Jose Luis Vidal Montero, mobility manager at Redexis.

The day began with an explanation of the great potential and experience that Spain has in terms of hydrogen production. Esperanza commented that “Hidrocarburos Metálicos has been producing hydrogen in Spain since 1927. We also have more than 1100km of hydrogen pipelines in the world”. Jose Luis Vidal argued that they are working on the “first green hydrogen product in Mallorca. For now they do not exist in Spain and we aim to be able to distribute hydrogen to the tertiary sector, hotels and the EMT service“. For his part, Pablo Gómez commented that this year FM Logistic inaugurated the first hydrogen station in a logistics warehouse in Spain. This hydrogen station has served to “create a turning point and a pilot project to decarbonize logistics and the fleet of delivery vehicles,” said Pablo. FM Logistic converted six pallet trucks to hydrogen for internal use within the warehouse. A van for last-mile urban distribution is also being converted and will be available in the coming months.

This is where the debate began. All three speakers agreed on the lack of investment by the automotive sector in the creation of hydrogen vehicles. “The day they start selling hydrogen vehicles will be when we will start to notice the appearance of new hydrogen stations,” argued Esperanza Montero. Hidrocarburos Metálicos has another hydrogen station in Torrejón de Ardoz for refueling an Alsa bus that circulates through the city: “What investor is going to find it profitable to open a hydrogen station if it is only going to dispense to one vehicle? A hydrogen station costs at least one and a half million euros to implement, explains Esperanza.

On the other hand, Jose Luis Vidal explained that Redexis has the challenge of implementing in the next 3-4 years 100 hydrogen stations and develop 400 hydrogen trucks for the free zone of Barcelona. Pablo Gómez welcomed these words of his colleague and explained that FM Logistic is also working on the development of the first hydrogen tractor unit and is collaborating with TEVVA, a company of zero emission and hydrogen vehicles, to develop and implement hydrogen vehicles in its transport fleet.

The speakers also commented on the legislative and bureaucratic barrier that exists for the development of hydrogen innovation projects. “There are many hydrogen projects that are finished but do not have the paperwork that allows them to be used,” said Pablo Gómez. Likewise, “more public aid is needed to move projects forward. Transforming a van to hydrogen costs 500,000 euros,” explains Pablo.

Despite these drawbacks, hydrogen experts agreed that we have reason to be hopeful. In a few years we can be leaders and a major world power in the production of this alternative green fuel. “We are a country with many hours of sunshine and we have a certain advantage over other countries in the development and investment in hydrogen,” said Pablo. The speakers have put a date to the reality of hydrogen in our country. They estimate that by 2026-2030 hydrogen will be a palpable reality and we will have a network of hydrogen stations and considerable hydrogen vehicles circulating on Spanish roads.

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