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The journey towards hydrogen in Trelleborg

Despite 750.000 trucks passing the city each year and one of the largest ports in Sweden, Trelleborg has an ambition to be climate neutral by 2030. The city is putting hope to green hydrogen to be one of the enablers for decarbonization and the development towards an attractive and sustainable city. Trelleborg’s journey towards implementing hydrogen in the energy system, started with a few enthusiasts and today one important milestone is reached. Trelleborg is the first one out in the Nordic Hydrogen corridor by signing the agreement for a hydrogen refueling station.

Strategic location paves the way for renewable hydrogen

Trelleborg has a strategic location along the ScanMed corridor in the Trans-European Transport Network, TEN-T. The city of Trelleborg has the largest RORO port in Scandinavia and each year around 700 000 trucks pass through the city center and tens of thousands train wagons are handled through the port. Within a few years, the number of trucks is expected to significantly increase.

The city is expanding quickly and is currently undergoing substantial changes. Due to increased traffic, the port is currently being expanded and relocated. This ignites a new city district, with closer access to the sea for the citizens, a beltway and a new logistic and distribution center.

The municipality of Trelleborg has since a few years back taken the decision to act as a role model within the renewable hydrogen sector. This effort is part of a long-term strategy for the city to develop to an attractive municipality, where people want to live and work and companies wish to invest and establish.

An interest in hydrogen sparked curiosity to know more

In 2019, the first stages towards the hydrogen journey started by an initiative from the sustainability manger in the municipality, Carl Koinberg-Henriksson:

I have always had an interest in environmental technologies in general and in hydrogen specifically. When reading about the NHC project, I found the ambition of the project in line with the ones we have in Trelleborg.

Back in 2019 the municipality of Trelleborg had ambitious environmental- and sustainability objectives, but lacked a “hands-on” roadmap on how to reach them.

Hydrogen could be one enabler to reach the ambitious goals, not only around decarbonization, but also in job creations as well as in health aspects, says Carl-Koinberg Henriksson.

After having discussions with Hydrogen Sweden about the NHC project, Carl Koinberg-Henriksson put forward his ideas to local politicians. In the end of 2019 an application to NHC was submitted.

Since then there have been bumps on the road, as for any start-up activity. Hydrogen in transport is a new technology and there is little experience about the market.

National government has not had the knowledge about hydrogen. There has been little marketing/lobbying around hydrogen and it has not been prioritized in the political agenda as an alternative fuel for sustainable transports, says Carl Koinberg-Henriksson.

Trelleborg – the first one out in the Nordic hydrogen Corridor

One solution towards reducing CO2 emission is to invest in hydrogen vehicles, where the only emission is water vapor. And on august 26th 2021, Trelleborg signed the agreement with NHC consortium partner Everfuel for development of a new hydrogen station. Trelleborg has made a firm commitment to a daily take off up to 120 kg per day. The partners have a joint ambition to grow the market to 500 kg per day within five years of operation.

Efforts and support from local politicians, who were early adopters of new and modern technologies, are one of the key enablers for Trelleborg to make the shift to a climate smart city.

I am thrilled and very proud that Trelleborg Municipality is the first one out in this project. This is one of the steps that Trelleborg takes in the total shift of technology and new solutions that we all have to be part of to meet the future in a sustainable way, says Mikael Rubin Mayor/ Municipality chairman of the municipal board of Trelleborg.

photo credit: Everfuel

Establishing a road map for hydrogen

To get further understanding how hydrogen can be implemented in the eco system, the municipality owned energy company Trelleborgs Energy, initiated an extensive work on road map for the use of green hydrogen. It is a systematic approach, to develop a sustainable city, including energy and transportation system.

There is a great potential with local hydrogen production from renewables, such as wind and solar power, and there are goals to increase the local energy production substantially in the coming years. There are ongoing initiatives for offshore wind farms south of Trelleborg.

We are investigating large scale production of hydrogen and are having discussions with international stakeholders. My estimate is that we will start hydrogen production around 2025, says Magnus Sahlin, CEO Trelleborg Energy.

From left: Carl Koinberg-Henriksson, Trelleborgs Energi, Lars Jacobsen, Everfuel, Mikael Rubin, koMayor of Trelleborg, Magnus Sahlin, Trelleborgs Energi, Maria Malm Skarin, Trelleborgs Energi, Pawel Seremak, Vätgas Sverige in front of Toyota/Caetano hydrogen bus in Trelleborg.

Trelleborg has the potential to produce / host hydrogen production as a compliment to expanding renewable energy and use it for energy storage, refueling of land, rail and sea-based vehicles, and to use the heat from electrolysis for heating. The hydrogen could be further processed into ammonia to be used as fertilizer for the large areas of highest quality farmlands in Trelleborg / Skåne County. A number of large industries in south of Sweden use fossil-based hydrogen today are considered key industries for driving the hydrogen economy in the draft for the Swedish National Hydrogen Strategy.

We need to take drastically measures both to save the planet, but also to ensure a robust energy supply from renewable sources in south of Sweden. We have the knowledge to start already today and as the same time hydrogen is now the most rapidly growing sector in the world. The municipality of Trelleborg is one of the most climate smart municipalities in Sweden and we are convinced that by using hydrogen in the energy system, we will make the change faster and with most impact, says Magnus Sahlin.

Vision for Trelleborg, where hydrogen is integrated in the energy system.

We need to take drastically measures both to save the planet, but also to ensure a robust energy supply from renewable sources in south of Sweden. We have the knowledge to start already today and as the same time hydrogen is now the most rapidly growing sector in the world

Magnus Sahlin, CEO Trelleborg Energy.