Led by NatPower H, part of the NatPower group, and designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, the NatPower H Hydrogen Refuelling Stations is a giant project worth 100 million euros and aims to install a total of 100 refueling stations over the next six years, as well as export the model to other areas beyond the Mediterranean Sea.
“ZHA’s Hydrogen Refuel boating stations will be built with unreinforced low-energy digital concrete. With structural strength arising from geometry rather than engineered materials, we found a connection between the established past of ancient construction techniques and advanced sustainable, circular technologies. This reflects NatPower-H’s dedication to an ecologically responsible future,“ says Filippo Innocenti, Director of Zaha Hadid Architects.
The boating industry, as we have seen, is doing its part to build increasingly sustainable vessels, and numerous shipyards are promoting solutions to reduce the impact of their operations on the ecosystem.
The demarcating of protected marine areas in which the use of diesel engines is now banned, further underscores the importance of sustainability also for yachts and mega-yachts, driving the entire industry towards eco-friendly innovations.
This rapid energy transition is currently held back, however, by the lack of infrastructure for distribution and refueling with zero-impact energy sources.
Through this project, therefore, NatPower H aims to install sustainable energy hubs in major Italian marinas and create the ideal conditions to facilitate the development and use of hydrogen-powered vessels.
“The Italian shipbuilding industry ranks first in the world in terms of the number of boats built, and we aim to facilitate the energy transition of this crucial market, promoting the use of hydrogen-powered yachts and boats with no direct Co2 emissions,” stated Andrea Minerdo, CEO NatPower H.
“Although the project has only just been launched, we already have a pipeline of 25 agreements with Italian marinas and ports, allowing us to start developing a global network of widespread hydrogen fuel stations.”
Designed with a focus on the Mediterranean context In response to the demand for straightforward, ecologically responsible, innovative, and low-tech facilities, these stations can be strategically situated at various locations along the Mediterranean coasts, respecting the unique cultural heritage of each place.
Incorporating local materials like sands and soils, along with low-carbon impact cement, not only diminishes the ecological footprint but also facilitates the creation of organic forms that seamlessly blend with the built environment, celebrating the beauty and diversity of the landscape.
Utilizing cutting-edge techniques in robotic material placement, the stations are fully recyclable as non-reinforced, dry-assembled masonry, eliminating the need for carpentry during construction.
This innovation sets a new standard for waste reduction and enhances material efficiency.
NatPower H has developed a green hydrogen fuel solution based on three key principles: safety, scalability, and complete sustainability.
The first ever station will be open in summer 2024 at the Marina Sant’Elena in Venice.
Project: NatPower H Hydrogen Refuelling Stations
Architects: Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA)
Project Director: Filippo Innocenti
Client: NatPower UK Ltd.
Renderings: Tecma Solutions