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Shell Plans to Create World's Largest Hydrogen Public Transport Project

Shell Hydrogen BV, in partnership with Connexxion Holding NV and MAN Truck & Bus Company NV, today announced plans to work towards creating the world's largest hydrogen-fuelled public transport operation in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The project aims to have the largest hydrogen bus fleet operational in a single region before the end of the decade.

In a Memorandum of Understanding signed today, Shell Hydrogen and its partners agreed to conduct an in-depth economic and technical study of the project and to seek additional stakeholders, before making a possible investment decision in 2007.

Under the proposed scheme more than 20 hydrogen internal combustions engine buses manufactured by the bus builder MAN Nutzfahrzeuge and its subsidiary NEOMAN Bus, will be operated by Connexxion, one of the main Dutch public transport companies. Buses will be fuelled from a Shell combined gasoline-hydrogen service station - the first in the Netherlands. The station is expected to be built and the buses operational by 2009. The same service station will also sell traditional fuels to ordinary motorists.

The five-year project will evaluate public reaction as well as the reliability and economics of using hydrogen to fuel public transport in major urban areas. It will also help to establish technical standards for operating hydrogen fuel outlets. "This is an important milestone for Shell Hydrogen as we take the next steps towards Royal Dutch Shell's fuels strategy of providing sustainable mobility to people around the world," said Duncan Macleod, Vice President Shell Hydrogen. "Our aim is to establish strong alliances in order to realise this ground-breaking project and we are confident that commitment of all parties can bring an exciting and rewarding result."

The Rotterdam project follows a successful three-year trial in Amsterdam, where Shell Hydrogen together with partners worked on the infrastructure and operation of three fuel cell hydrogen buses. In addition to being the country's second largest city and one of the main ports in Europe, Rotterdam offers an opportunity to capitalise on a well-developed existing hydrogen infrastructure for industrial applications.

Rein Willems, Country Chairman, Shell in the Netherlands, said the plan was an ideal platform for the transition to hydrogen transport fuel as outlined in the 2006 Dutch Sustainable Mobility Strategy. He said the planned gasoline-hydrogen retail station showed Shell's commitment to providing sustainable energy for the Netherlands and beyond.

"We will be showcasing hydrogen as a reliable, safe and sustainable fuel which contributes to the reduction of local air pollution and strengthens economic growth," he added.

With more than six years of experience with hydrogen retailing Shell has an excellent track record of implementing new hydrogen technology on markets around the world. Working in partnership with various stakeholders Shell was able to build a combined gasoline-hydrogen station in Washington DC the first in the USA.

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