Countrywide to supply hydrogen direct to customers

Artist’s impression of the new, standalone H2Co refuelling stations
Artist’s impression of the new, standalone H2Co refuelling stations (Image: Countrywide Hydrogen)

Countrywide Hydrogen, a wholly owned renewable hydrogen subsidiary of ReNu Energy, plans to supply hydrogen directly to customers through its own branded refuelling stations, H2Co Energy.

“Our goal is to provide customers with the cheapest, easiest, quickest and most sustainable way to refuel their hydrogen emission-free vehicles—establishing ourselves in the retail market is the logical way to do this,” Countrywide Hydrogen managing director Geoffrey Drucker said.

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The news comes after Countrywide Hydrogen’s announcement last week that it has selected three leading organisations to provide electrolysers, hydrogen refuelling stations (HRS) and construction services.

“The combined announcements demonstrate Countrywide Hydrogen is progressing rapidly towards a final investment decision for its Tasmania Green Hydrogen projects, which are targeting first production and supply of hydrogen by mid-2025. These equipment supplier selections serve to assure potential customers for our green hydrogen in Tasmania the projects are on track for first production and supply to coincide with fuel cell trucks, buses and cars being available from trusted brands,” Drucker said.

“It is a tremendous vote of confidence that these leading businesses are keen to join Countrywide Hydrogen’s projects, they clearly see the great opportunity for hydrogen in Tasmanian and mainland Australia just as we do.”

The move into the retail market with H2Co Energy is designed to reduce hydrogen’s overall cost to consumers by avoiding the additional margin imposed by a third-party reseller.

“H2Co Energy’s refuelling stations do not need complex infrastructure. Instead, they will have only an automated dispenser, and be standalone without service station retail,”  Drucker said.

“Importantly for consumers, Countrywide Hydrogen envisages that the price for hydrogen should not be subject to the price fluctuations inherent to oil-based commodities on the basis that key operational costs for electricity and water will be known under medium to long term purchase agreements entered into. Countrywide currently has a target price for hydrogen that is competitive with or outperforms diesel—we believe we can deliver that based on the financial modelling undertaken to date.

“Transport operators that adopt hydrogen can then cease to be at the mercy of global oil interests while providing an emission-free transport service. This gives road transport companies comfort with respect to future fuel costs as well as availability too, with hydrogen being produced locally.”

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Countrywide Hydrogen’s first three domestic hydrogen supply projects near Hobart, Launceston and Burnie are designed to each have hydrogen refuelling facilities for fuel cell trucks, buses and cars. These strategically selected locations will offer 24/7 statewide coverage for fuel cell vehicle owners and operators with such vehicles having long-range driving capabilities and/or a need for refuelling in minutes.

“With hydrogen targeted to be available in Tasmania by mid-2025, Countrywide Hydrogen has been working with the road transport sector to help develop a zero-emission option to deliver emissions reductions that will address global warming and the health issues associated with road transport,” Drucker said.

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