12 Jul 22

Main NZ transporter switching to hydrogen

H.W. Richardson (HWR), with 1,300 heavy trucks New Zealand’s largest heavy transport company, is decarbonizing its fleet by switching to hydrogen. To this end, HWR is partnering with zero-emissions transitions company Fabrum, and plans to have 10 hydrogen-diesel trucks on the road by Q2 2023. 

Founded in 2004 in New Zealand, Fabrum designs and develops mission-critical tech solutions for multinationals. Its cryocooler and liquefier systems are used to liquefy and recondense hydrogen and other gases, with applications ranging from science over medicine to energy. Some of its tech is used on NASA’s Mars Lander. 

End-to-end solution

For HWR, Fabrum building an end-to-end scalable hydrogen refueling solution that includes a green production system that allows for decentralized point-of-use refueling, and hydrogen storage technology. The goal: fleet-ready access to hydrogen. 

“Over the past year, we’ve seen a surge in demand for our hydrogen solutions, driven by increasing decarbonization and energy security challenges,” says Dr Ojas Mahapatra, CEO of Fabrum. “As one of New Zealand’s largest companies, HWR can action big change that provides a decarbonization blueprint for heavy transport.”

Fabrum’s AFCryocooler splits water into hydrogen and oxygen. The 1.1-Megawatt system it’s building for HWR can produce 450 kg of hydrogen per day. 

Dual-fuel technology

Since late 2021, meaning prior to its agreement with Fabrum, HWR has been trialing dual-fuel trucks (pictured). Dual-fuel technology allows the replacement of up to 40% of the diesel with hydrogen, resulting in a 40% reduction of emissions, without loss of efficiency. 

The dual-fuel solution enables a transition to low-carbon emissions for heavy trucks in a way that is both commercially viable and progressively sustainable. 

“As HWR rolls out dual-fuel tech and its hydrogen refuelling network across New Zealand, Fabrum’s ability to scale means this alternative fuel source will be a solution for the entire heavy transport industry,” says Anthony Jones, CEO of HWR. 

New possibilities

HWR also owns Allied Petroleum, a network of around 110 fuel stops across the country. “We can use that network to distribute hydrogen as an alternative fuel not just for our own fleet, but for the heavy transport industry as a whole”, Mr Jones goes on.  

“To leave the world a better place, we must look to liquid hydrogen. Our hydrogen fuel production technology opens new possibilities for sustainable long-distance transport, even on water and in the air, and for energy self-sufficiency,” concludes Christopher Boyle, Managing Director and co-founder of Fabrum.

Image: HWR

Authored by: Frank Jacobs