ZeroAvia has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Fortum to explore developing hydrogen production and refuelling infrastructure at airports in the Nordics.

The companies will work together with a view to building a network of zero-emission flight routes. ZeroAvia and Fortum will investigate the potential development of on-the-ground hydrogen infrastructure at relevant airports with the aim of removing emissions from both flights and the wider airport ecosystem. On-airport hydrogen infrastructure can also support complementary traffic from heavy-duty transportation, materials handling equipment and other energy consuming systems, the companies said. Any future decisions on possible investments will be made at a later stage.

Fortum is a Nordic energy company that produces and delivers clean energy, working together with industries on their decarbonisation as part of the transition to net zero societies. Its core operations in the Nordics consist of efficient, CO2-free power generation as well as reliable supply of energy to private and business customers. This positions Fortum strongly to deliver the capacity required for the production of green hydrogen, a crucial ingredient for tackling aviation’s climate change impact. 

ZeroAvia is leading the race to deliver zero-emission engine technology for passenger and cargo-carrying commercial aircraft with a target of certifying its engines first for 9-19 seat aircraft by 2025, followed by 40-80 seat aircraft by 2027. 

Arnab Chatterjee, VP infrastructure at ZeroAvia, said: “As hydrogen hubs, airports can help reduce climate and air quality impacts of flight and a raft of other operations. Scaling the renewable energy capacity and reducing costs pose clear, but fully surmountable, challenges to hydrogen as the fuel to power truly clean flights. Fortum is well positioned as a partner in this space, given the company’s clean energy focus and its emerging hydrogen leadership.”

ZeroAvia has already demonstrated its world-first Hydrogen Airport Refuelling Ecosystem (HARE) at its R&D hub in Kemble in the UK, and is working with a range of airports on projects to establish the infrastructure and operations to operate zero-emission routes as early as 2025.

Image: ZeroAvia