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Element 2 £4.1M Pioneering Hydrogen Hub at Teesside Airport: Set to Save 240,000 Tonnes of CO2 Annually

A strategic alliance with Teesside International Airport and Innervated Vehicle Engineering (IVe)

Element 2 is proud to announce that its Chief Technology Officer, Brendan Bilton, will be a featured speaker at the Monaco Hydrogen Forum this Tuesday and Wednesday. Mr. Bilton, a distinguished figure in the hydrogen and fuel cell sector, will present on the topic “Reconstructing The World’s Energy Systems,” emphasizing the innovative repurposing of the gas network for hydrogen distribution. This talk will include insights into Element 2's collaborative deblending project with National Gas in the UK. With nearly a quarter-century of experience, Brendan Bilton has established himself as a leading authority in the field. His tenure includes pivotal roles such as CEO of several fuel cell and electrolyser companies, during which he successfully raised over £50 million in equity, including an IPO. His foundational contributions to the UK Hydrogen Association and the EU Joint Undertaking in Fuel Cells and Hydrogen (FCH JU) underscore his influential presence in the industry. A prolific inventor, Mr. Bilton holds three patents in fuel cell technology and maintains active memberships in the UK Energy Industries Club and the Parliamentary Group on Energy Studies. Additionally, he offers his expertise through his consultancy, advising investors and companies on a broad spectrum of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. In 2020, Brendan Bilton co-founded Element 2 Ltd with Tim Harper, aiming to revolutionize the Commercial Vehicle market by developing a comprehensive UK-wide network of hydrogen refuelling stations. This initiative is at the forefront of facilitating a green transition in transportation, aligning with global sustainability goals. Element 2 invites attendees of the Monaco Hydrogen Forum to join Mr. Bilton's session for an in-depth exploration of the future of energy systems and hydrogen technology.

Element 2, a key player in sustainable infrastructure, is contributing to the fight against climate change by announcing the construction of a new, high-volume hydrogen refuelling station at Teesside International Airport, supported by a grant from Innovate UK. This award marks a hat trick of government support for Element 2 this year and a total funding boost of nearly £2.5 million.

In a strategic alliance with Teesside International Airport and Innervated Vehicle Engineering (IVe), this £4.1M project is set to turn Tees Valley into a hub for zero-emission transportation and cutting-edge airside operations by 2024.

The project will see the development of a modern, large-scale hydrogen refuelling station at the airport, supporting a range of long-term trials of commercial vans, led by IVe, as well as additional passenger cars and airside support vehicles, led by Tees Valley Airport. This initiative will enrich the region’s refuelling infrastructure with green hydrogen supply, aiming for a substantial yearly reduction of 240,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

In partnership with IVe, Element 2 is preparing to transform hydrogen vehicle trials into tangible, commercial applications, generating valuable performance data that will fuel further breakthroughs in hydrogen-powered transportation.

This venture is a significant step towards Teesside International Airport’s 2030 net zero target and is poised to amplify the influence of hydrogen energy throughout Tees Valley. Element 2’s investment initiates a ripple effect that extends beyond the airport, marking a major shift towards greener transportation in the region.

Tim Harper, CEO of Element 2, said: “Following on from our previous refuelling investments in Teesside, we are excited to be developing this hydrogen refuelling station in the region and taking real tangible action in the fight against climate change. The strategic location of Teesside Airport, with its proximity to key transport links and major freight depots, provides the perfect platform for this project.

As we expand the hydrogen refuelling infrastructure throughout the UK, projects such as this empower fleet operators to gain proficiency in running zero-emission HGVs. We are looking forward to collaborating with an increasing number of fleets across the region.

Heavy goods vehicles are responsible for almost a third of the UK’s transport emissions, and this allows us to accelerate the shift away from diesel, providing real environmental and health benefits.”

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “We were one of the first areas to trial hydrogen fuels and this is continuing to pay off as we’ve been successful in securing this permanent refuelling station.

“Our airport and, indeed, our whole region continues to be at the forefront of the UK’s net zero ambitions, and this hydrogen station is another step forward to supporting the cleaner, healthier and safer industries of tomorrow. It backs up everything we’re doing in our low-carbon journey, including supporting the production and adoption of sustainable aviation fuel – one of the biggest issues facing the industry right now.
“The aim to have Teesside Airport operationally net zero by 2030 is only the beginning, We’re still pioneering offshore, carbon capture and renewable technologies over at Teesworks, to truly cement Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool as the place to do business in innovative and clean technologies.”

Establishing a hydrogen refuelling hub and vehicles at the airport not only builds on the UK’s drive towards decarbonisation but also supports the airport’s drive to become operationally net zero by 2030. Other schemes being championed by the airport include the development and adoption of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) by the industry, and a study to establish a local green energy company, including setting up solar panels on land next to the runway, is underway.