Heavy transport company goes hydrogen


New Zealand’s largest heavy transport company H.W. Richardson (HWR) plans to decarbonise its transport fleet by adopting a hydrogen refuelling solution developed by Fabrum

Zero-emissions transition company Fabrum is developing and deploying an end-to-end scalable hydrogen refuelling solution for HWR to enable fleet-ready access to hydrogen. This coincides with HWR’s plans to have ten dual-fuel hydrogen diesel trucks on the road by the second quarter of 2023.

Fabrum is developing the first green hydrogen production system for HWR for its Southland site, using a 1.1-Megawatt (MW) membrane-free electrolyser combined with its cryogenic technologies in a containerised system for decentralised point-of-use refuelling.

Fabrum will also supply hydrogen storage technology that integrates with compression and dispensing technology to enable an end-to-end solution of production through to dispensing of hydrogen gas.

Fabrum Chief Executive Dr Ojas Mahapatra says there is a surge in demand for hydrogen solutions, driven by increasing decarbonisation and energy security challenges.

“We’re excited to be working with HWR to power change for a new zero-emission transport future with our green hydrogen technologies. As one of New Zealand’s largest companies, HWR can action big change that impacts its emissions and provides a sustainability and decarbonisation blueprint for heavy transport.”

Fabrum’s AFCryocooler cryogenic technology, which enables gas separation and liquefaction, combined with patented Membrane-Free Electrolyser technology from UK company Clean Power Hydrogen (CPH2) – splits water into pure hydrogen and medical grade oxygen – without the polymer membrane used in common PEM electrolysers. A 1.1 MW system can produce 450kg of hydrogen per day from water.

HWR Chief Executive Anthony Jones says Fabrum is a key part of the company’s hydrogen project.

“Their world-leading solutions enable hydrogen production capability on-site and on-demand. As HWR rolls out dual-fuel technology and its hydrogen refuelling network across New Zealand, Fabrum’s ability to scale to grow with us means this alternative fuel source will be a solution for the entire heavy transport industry.”

HWR has been trialling dual-fuel hydrogen technology for its truck fleets since late 2021. Dual-fuel is a future fuels solution that works for the entire heavy transport industry, enabling this low-carbon transition in an accessible and sustainable manner. Dual-fuel technology diesel engines can replace up to 40% of the diesel with hydrogen – resulting in a 40% reduction in emissions – without power loss.

HWR, which owns the Allied Petroleum network of around 110 fuel stops across New Zealand from Stewart Island to Karikari Peninsula, has options to buy further electrolyser and hydrogen storage systems from Fabrum for new and existing refuelling sites.

“We can use our fuel network to distribute hydrogen as an alternative fuel not just for our fleet, but to help the heavy transport industry as a whole – by removing barriers to accessing ready hydrogen fuel,” Jones says.

Fabrum Managing Director and co-founder Christopher Boyle says hydrogen is one of the most scalable and viable options to help the energy transition to a lower-carbon economy and Fabrum.

“To leave the world a better place, we need to look to a new future with liquid hydrogen – and we’ve developed the technology to make that future a reality. Our hydrogen fuel production technologies open new possibilities for sustainable long-distance transport, marine and aviation – and energy self-sufficiency.

“It’s fantastic to see HWR commit to a hydrogen transition, to significantly impact their emissions – and create a pathway for the industry as a whole to move towards improved sustainability and ultimately zero-emissions.”