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The City of Ostrava, in cooperation with the Ostrava Public Transport Corporation (DPO), is currently planning the construction of the city’s first public hydrogen filling station as well as launching a project to introduce pilot services by zero-emissions hydrogen-powered buses (both city buses and long-distance services) within Ostrava and the region. The project is being coordinated by the Ostrava Public Transport Corporation (DPO).

On 30 November 2018, the City of Ostrava and the Moravian-Silesian Region signed a memorandum committing them to support the use of hydrogen vehicles in the public transport system.

Hydrogen fuel technologies are generally considered to be a highly promising option for future mobility solutions, which will help to boost energy self-sufficiency and efficiency in Europe. For a historically industrial area such as Ostrava, this exciting new form of technology holds the potential for dynamic development not only in transportation, but also in other fields.

Hydrogen fuel production can be a 100% clean (zero-emissions) process if renewable energy resources are used; the adoption of hydrogen technologies by current industries has the potential to create an entirely new industry which would enable not only Ostrava but the entire region to function entirely without burning coal.

Besides the memorandum signed by the City and the Region, another memorandum on introducing hydrogen mobility has been signed by the Region and the Vítkovice Cylinders company. The aim of the coordinated efforts of all three parties is to support the use of hydrogen fuels for transportation in order to minimize the environmental burden of transport-related emissions. A further benefit will be the emergence of a new industry which will create many new jobs.

Ostrava has committed to completely eliminate diesel buses from its public transport fleet by 2020; the buses will be entirely replaced by eco-friendly vehicles, mainly using CNG but also including some electric buses. In the future, hydrogen buses will also be added to the fleet. After the first hydrogen filling station has been built, Ostrava’s public transport network will be used as a pilot environment to test hydrogen buses.

On 3 April 2020 the Ostrava Public Transport Corporation announced a tender for planning documentation for the project Development of Hydrogen Mobility in Ostrava (Phase I).

Ostrava’s CNG buses

One of Ostrava’s strategic goals is for at least 60% of its public transport fleet to consist of zero-emissions vehicles by 2025. The use of CNG buses brings major reductions in emissions of PM, NOx and polyaromatic hydrocarbons. However, electric vehicles are much more effective in reducing carbon dioxide emissions, as they produce no CO2 during their actual operations. The Ostrava Public Transport Corporation (DPO) has invested in 105 new CNG-powered buses, which has brought a reduction in CO2 emissions totalling around 980 tonnes per year. This project also included the construction of a CNG filling station at Hranečník, which is capable of filling over 4 buses in just 8 minutes.

The filling station has the highest capacity of any facility of its type not only in the Czech Republic, but in Central Europe as a whole. Its special hyper-powerful compressor has a total capacity of 3 500 m3, enabling it to fill dozens of eco-friendly buses every hour. The station cost over 70 million CZK to purchase and install.

As of 1 October 2018, the Ostrava Public Transport Corporation operated a total 284 buses, of which 118 were CNG vehicles. The corporation plans to purchase a further 50 CNG buses by the end of 2020.

Source (information and photos): Dopravní podnik Ostrava, a. s.

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