TEC buses in Liège and Charleroi to drive on hydrogen
On Thursday afternoon, the Walloon government has launched a call for candidates for the installation of two hydrogen stations. They will be responsible for the production and distribution of hydrogen, based on Walloon electricity. And the hydrogen is meant to fuel two fleets of buses in Liège and Charleroi.
The Walloon Public Transport Operator’s fleet has to become ‘greener’ and goal is to reduce 30% of CO2 emissions by 2023. The hydrogen project is supported by Jean-Luc Crucke, Walloon Minister for Energy and Climate, and his colleague Carlo di Antonio, responsible for Mobility. Hydrogen makes it possible to reduce greenhouse gas-producing emissions, for which hardly any alternatives are available. Or none at all. OWT already announced its ambitious plans in February this year.
The call for candidates goes for two projects, one in Charleroi and another in Liège. In Charleroi, we’re talking about the installation and exploitation of a production and distribution station for hydrogen produced with Walloon electricity. The hydrogen gas will be used to fuel a bus fleet in the district of Carolo. The same goes for Liège, but there the station will be installed at the airport’s site.
“Producing hydrogen still is more expensive than the production of the equivalent fossil fuels”, both ministers say, “so, we need to compensate the extra costs to turn this new fuel into a competitive alternative for diesel.” The compensation could be a subsidy or a recoverable advance granted to the two projects.
The government has taken care of recoverable advances of an estimated 8,7 million euro. It will also provide support for the acquisition and exploitation of rolling stock.
Candidate files have to be submitted by June 24th. Both projects should be ready as soon as possible.