• £7 million to decarbonise deliveries in the Tees Valley, with a new hydrogen refuelling station for HGVs
  • Hydrogen hub will support hundreds of UK jobs and the North East economy
  • Tees Valley Combined Authority will launch new competition to help local colleges run hydrogen skills training
  • Novuna Vehicle Solutions will work alongside German manufacturer Quantron AG, to build, fund and manage the in-life maintenance of more than 20 fuel cell electric HGVs ranging from 4.2 to 27 tonnes deployed in the project.



European fuel distributor Exolum has been awarded £7 million of government funding to build a publicly accessible green hydrogen refuelling station near Middlesbrough, initially serving at least 25 new zero-emission HGVs. 

The government-funded Tees Valley hydrogen transport hub, known as the first of its kind in the country, aims to show how green hydrogen, which does not produce any harmful emissions when used in a fuel cell, can be utilised in transport. The move aims to not only improve air quality for residents in the Tees Valley, but support hundreds of skilled UK jobs and upskilling opportunities for workers. The project also aims to sustainably deliver thousands of goods in the area, from supermarket groceries to new clothes. 

The publicly accessible refuelling station, near to Middlesbrough town centre and at the intersection of the A19 and A66, will be capable of dispensing up to 1.5 tonnes of hydrogen per day.

To further support the sector, Tees Valley Combined Authority will use £300,000 of government funding to run a competition for Tees Valley colleges and training institutions to purchase hydrogen training equipment to upskill the local workforce.

The funding follows the announcement of the first two winning projects, led by ULEMCo and Element 2, which will develop hydrogen-powered airport ground-based support vehicles and create new hydrogen refuelling stations.

Together, the three winning projects are set to innovate hydrogen-powered transport in the Tees Valley, creating jobs and apprenticeships. The hydrogen transport hub claims to already be creating significant levels of industry interest, with a number of developers having announced their intentions to build large-scale green hydrogen production in the area, with demand from transport a key factor.

Technology and Decarbonisation Minister, Anthony Browne, said: ”It’s fantastic to see the Tees Valley continue to be a trailblazer in this vital technology to decarbonise heavier vehicles – leading the way for the wider rollout of green hydrogen.These three winning projects will not only support jobs and economic growth in the Tees Valley but will also help decarbonise our transport network.

Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen, said: ”Our area is leading the way in developing the cleaner, healthier and safer transport of the future. This is another great example of how we are creating innovative solutions, such as greener deliveries to our supermarkets. As the UK’s first hydrogen transport hub, we are in a fantastic position to take advantage of projects such as this, which will deliver further jobs and investment needed to drive our local economy forward.

”As more of these major projects are confirmed, it’s also essential that we develop skills in our workforce, so this funding is vital to ensure local people can take advantage of the well-paid jobs this new technology is bringing.

Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance, Lord Callanan, said: ”Giving a whole new meaning to green groceries, I am thrilled that delivery drivers in Tees Valley are set to make their rounds using clean, green hydrogen.

”We are building a world-leading hydrogen industry, recently committing £2 billion for 11 green hydrogen production projects – including the Tees Green hydrogen project developed by EDF – to provide cleaner fuel for UK businesses.

Today’s third winner being announced completes the second round of government competition funding for the Tees Valley hydrogen transport hub following the first round, which awarded over £2.6 million to deploy 21 hydrogen-powered vehicles. The second competition invited ideas on how to overcome some of the challenges of scaling up hydrogen technology, making the region’s supply chain greener with hydrogen-fuelled vans and HGVs.

Government investment in the Tees Valley hub will position the region at the forefront of the hydrogen transport sector, bringing skills, jobs, exports and growth. It will also provide evidence and experience to support future policy, strategy and investment decisions over the coming years.

Exolum Clean Energies Lead, Andres Suarez, said: ”At Exolum, we want to be a relevant player in green hydrogen technology, which is positioning itself as an efficient energy vector to help decarbonise sectors that are difficult to electrify, such as heavy-duty mobility. 

”This project in the UK comes in addition to others we have under development and others already fully implemented, such as the first hydrogen plant for mobility in Madrid, Spain. Thanks to joint collaboration with other pioneering companies, we will be able to offer this new technology to the market to drive the energy transition.”

Headquartered in Spain, Exolum (which was re-branded in 2021) manages Europe’s largest network of refined products and are ranked first in Europe in terms of storage capacity and seventh in the world. It is engaged in the transportation and storage of a wide range of bulk liquid products, especially refined products, chemicals and biofuels ”in a sustainable and efficient manner”. 


Novuna Vehicle Solutions, one of the UK’s largest fleet leasing providers and a leading advocate for zero-emission vehicles, also announced it has been awarded funding of over £2.1 million as part of the Tees Valley Hydrogen Vehicle Ecosystem (HYVE) Consortium, which will showcase the first large-scale deployment of fuel cell electric HGVs in the UK.

As the selected HGV leasing partner within the consortium, Novuna Vehicle Solutions will work alongside German manufacturer Quantron AG, to build, fund and manage the in-life maintenance of more than 20 fuel cell electric HGVs ranging from 4.2 to 27 tonnes deployed in the project.

These vehicles, which will be used by some of the region’s largest vehicle operators within the logistics, infrastructure, utilities and home delivery sectors, will replace diesel vehicles, reducing local air pollution and carbon emissions.

Data monitoring and performance evaluation will be provided by the School of Computer Engineering and Digital Technologies at Teesside University, who have extensive experience in the fuel cell field.

Jon Lawes, managing director of Novuna Vehicle Solutions, said: “This project is crucial to removing barriers and addressing the needs of operators at every stage of the ecosystem, in turn realising the commercial viability of hydrogen, at scale, and transforming the heavy transport sector which has been left behind in the road to net zero fleets.

“With our experience and unique capability to build, fund and manage the in-life maintenance across all vehicle types, including HGVs, we’re looking forward to collaborating with other selected participants to create a cleaner transport sector and ultimately unlock the vast potential of fuel cell hydrogen vehicles.

“Being firmly at the forefont in addressing the challenges of decarbonising heavy-duty vehicles complements our broader zero emissions strategy which is already comprehensively supporting fleets transition to Electric Vehicles.”

Novuna Vehicle Solutions, which manages over 140,000 vehicles across the UK and Europe ranging from cars and vans to HGVs and specialised assets, is also currently in discussion to support separate trials of hydrogen vehicles for Network Rail.

Andreas Haller, CEO and founder of Quantron AG, added: “We are proud to be a part of this initiative. Bringing our innovative Quantron Inside technology to the UK marks a significant step forward in our global strategy and we are delighted to do this in collaboration with our partner Novuna.

“We are building hydrogen vehicles that reflect our commitment to sustainability to set a new environmentally friendly standard for long-haul transportation.”