TMB-Iberdrola contract signed for the first hydrogen plant for public use in Spain

  • The Zona Franca hydrogen plant will enter into service in November to supply the first eight fuel cell buses that will circulate in Barcelona

TMB and Iberdrola today signed a contract for the supply of hydrogen from renewable sources to Barcelona's fleet of city buses through a plant that will also be able to supply other fleets of electric vehicles, as part of the move towards a new mobility with zero pollutant emissions.

TMB was represented by the Chief Executive Officer, Gerardo Lertxundi, accompanied by the Director of the Bus Network, Jacobo Kalitovics, and the Director of Good Governance and Legal Advice, Jaume Garcia. Millán García-Tola, Director of the H2 Verde Division, signed the agreement for Iberdrola, together with Joaquín Lloret, Commercial Director in Catalonia, and Adolfo J. Rivera, Head of Business Development and H2 Verde Projects.

This formalises the alliance between TMB and Iberdrola for the construction of a hydrogen plant in the Zona Franca industrial estate, which will be the first public plant in Spain. The plant will begin construction shortly on a 5,000 square metre plot of land leased from the Zona Franca Consortium. Once it comes into service next November, it will be used by TMB buses using this technology and potentially by other fleets and industries in the industrial estate that adopt hydrogen as an energy solution.

The plant will supply hydrogen from renewable sources, produced by electrolysis, to the bus fleet and all additional local demand. This will initiate the creation of a green hydrogen hub in one of Catalonia and Spain's leading industrial areas.

The first eight fuel cell buses

The first vehicles to be supplied at the new plant will be the eight buses with state-of-the-art hydrogen technology purchased by TMB last year, which will be delivered to Barcelona in November 2021, with the intention of putting them into service in early 2022. Its estimated consumption is 160 kilos per day, which will increase from year to year as more units with this technology are added to the fleet, until a total of 60 is reached.

The adoption of hydrogen by TMB is supported by the European JIVE 2 programme to promote hydrogen fuel cell vehicles that produce zero emissions, which is jointly funded by the European Union. The project is being managed in collaboration with Barcelona's Metropolitan Transport Authority (ATM).

The choice of hydrogen reflects TMB's strategic investment in green energies. The company's president, Rosa Alarcón, defined it as an “exciting project” that includes the charging plant and the purchase of the vehicles, and which is “in line with the fulfilment of the decarbonisation objectives for urban transport”. “The future is zero-emission public transport, to tackle the three crises we are experiencing, health, economic and environmental,” he stressed.

For Millán García-Tola, Iberdrola's Hydrogen Unit Director, “this pioneering project will demonstrate the capacity of green hydrogen to transform the electrification of urban transport, promote the decarbonisation of our economy and develop innovative industrial chains with high added value in our country.” “With initiatives like the one we are going to develop with TMB, we can turn Catalonia and Spain into a benchmark in the hydrogen economy and draw maximum value from the renewable resources available in our country.”

Iberdrola is committed to green hydrogen as a vector for growth and decarbonisation of segments such as industry and urban and heavy transport. The company is already carrying out several projects in Spain and the United Kingdom, which will enable the value chain to develop. It has also submitted 53 projects to the Next Generation EU programme, which would activate investments of 2.5 billion for the installation of more than 1 GW of electrolysers over the next few years and an annual production of 60,000 tonnes/year.

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