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Market News

 December 01, 2006
BC's Hydrogen Highway continues to grow

 British Columbia, Canada -- A new hydrogen fuelling station in Victoria is the latest addition to BC's Hydrogen Highway. BOC Gases, a subsidiary of the Linde Group, together with BC Hydro, completed the construction of the fuelling station at BC Transit's Langford facility near Victoria.

The station is set up to dispense fuel to support one of the Vancouver Fuel Cell Vehicle Program's fuel-cell vehicles, which is operated by BC Transit and the Province of BC in the Victoria region. The Program has put five fuel-cell powered Ford Focus cars on the road to test them in everyday driving conditions. The vehicles, which make use of Canadian-made Ballard fuel cell engines and Dynetek hydrogen storage tanks, are the result of collaboration between the government and the private sector.

Natural Resources Canada, through the Canadian Transportation Fuel Cell Alliance, contributed $480,000 to the project. The cost of construction and initial operation of the refuelling facility is just over $1 million. Financial support was also provided by BOC Gases and BC Hydro.

The Victoria Station uses a three-tiered storage bank of low, medium and high-pressure storage cylinders. As the Victoria hydrogen vehicle fleet expands, additional storage cylinders can be added to support the incremental load of next-generation fuel-cell vehicles.

BC Transit is pursuing hydrogen-fuelled transportation, recently issuing a request for proposals to develop pre-production hydrogen fuel-cell buses that could be used for commercial use.

The project will demonstrate the integration of hydrogen fuel-cell buses into the regular operational service of an urban transit system. This fleet will allow BC Transit to monitor operations, maintenance and fuelling over a sustained period.

Other aspects of the Hydrogen Highway project include hydrogen production and refueling stations. In an innovative project in North Vancouver, Sacré-Davey Innovations and Westport Innovations are capturing waste hydrogen from a chemical manufacturing plant.