Hydrogen trucks on Route 117?

A Québec company wants to provide green fuel for heavy-duty vehicles traveling between the greater Montreal area and Abitibi-Témiscamingue. Hydrolux plans to add two “green hydrogen” refueling stations along the Route 117 corridor within two years.

Posted at 9:00 am

Frederik Xavier Duhamel

Frederik Xavier Duhamel
The press

According to Hydrolux, this project could avoid the emission of more than 20,000 tons of greenhouse gases (GHG) in its initial phase, the equivalent of removing 4,300 cars from Quebec’s streets.

“These would be the first two stations in Quebec for heavy haulage,” says Friedrich Dehem-Lemelin, President and CEO of Hydrolux. “There are still some permits to be obtained, but all steps are in full swing. »

“Although the Project 117 is primarily designed for heavy trucks, motorists who have purchased hydrogen cars can also fill up at these stations,” the company said in a press release. There is currently only one hydrogen fueling station in the province, which is not intended for heavy trucks.

The future stations are in Saint-Jérôme and Val-d’Or, between which route 117 winds for almost 500 km. The idea is to “decarbonize a section that is a truck [électrique] not possible,” says Dehem-Lemelin due to the limited range of today’s batteries.

“Many transport companies in Quebec and industrial partners have already expressed their interest,” assures Hydrolux in its press release.

One of these companies is Groupe Morneau, whose trucks make dozens of round trips between Abitibi-Témiscamingue and the metropolitan area every week.

“We want to contribute as much as possible to society and invest heavily in green energy,” said David Morneau, the airline’s vice president and chief operating officer. Groupe Morneau wants to run half of its truck fleet on “green energy” by 2035, divided into hydrogen and electricity.

The company already has an electric truck making deliveries in Quebec. But as Mr Dehem-Lemelin points out, the autonomy of the batteries limits their use for interregional transport.

“We, as operators, are sure that we are ready” to bet on hydrogen, says Denis Marcotte, director of technical services at Groupe Morneau. All the company needs is a fuel supplier like Hydrolux and trucks in the market.

The Department of Energy and Natural Resources (MERN) says it is “aware of the project proposed by Hydrolux and has held some meetings with the company” and claims to have been approached by others on the subject.

“MERN is unable to confirm the deadline [de deux ans] what is realistic is not knowing in detail what phase of the design the project is in,” says spokesman Eric de Montigny, however.

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