Norwegian Hydrogen and Varanger KraftHydrogen aim for the first fueling stations for hydrogen to be opened in Eastern Finnmark, Norway, by 2023.
The partners hope that companies, the public sector, and private individuals will consider green hydrogen produced in Berlevåg as an attractive solution for cutting emissions. If customers want green hydrogen delivered in a container or for a ship that needs a bunkering solution, they will also offer that.
Varanger KraftHydrogen will produce green hydrogen, and Norwegian Hydrogen will build the fueling infrastructure and distribute the hydrogen. Together they will help the market mature and work with potential customers.
Finnmark has Norway’s largest factory for the production of green hydrogen. It is located in Berlevåg and is owned by Varanger KraftHydrogen – a subsidiary of Varanger Kraft. The plans to use the hydrogen are about to be realized through a collaboration with the company Norwegian Hydrogen.
Norwegian Hydrogens head office is in Ålesund but is also present in several other locations in the Nordic region. They have several projects in both Sweden and Denmark, but CEO Jens Berge emphasizes that they are serious about collaborating with Varanger KraftHydrogen and that the company will invest in Finnmark. The fact that hydrogen is already being produced in Finnmark is unique and a reason to invest.
Norwegian Hydrogen reveals agreeing to rent an office in Berlevåg and has established a separate company with responsibility for Arctic areas, Arctic Hydrogen AS. Initially, this will be staffed part-time with people from the company’s other offices.
Initially, the two companies plan 3-4 stations in East Finnmark. The companies want to create a “hydrogen corridor” between Berlevåg and Kirkenes. Exactly where the stations will be placed depends most of all on where the users are. Should Finnmark county decide on a hydrogen bus between Vardø and Kirkenes, Vardø will be a natural place for a fueling station. And if a machine contractor in Vadsø or Vestre Jakobselv wants to go for hydrogen, this will be a natural location. For such customers, mobile solutions may also be relevant, for example swapping hydrogen containers with direct fueling available.
Hydrogen production in Berlevåg has started through the support from EU. For the fueling infrastructure, both Norwegian Hydrogen and Varanger KraftHydrogen expect Norwegian Enova to grant support. – When the first electric fast chargers arrived in Finnmark, Enova was willing to pay 100% of the investment cost, while the operator had to take responsibility for the risk associated with operations.
Even though the collaboration starts with fueling stations in East Finnmark, the ambitions are far greater in the long run.