Hydrogen Tube Trailer Market

Global Industry Analysis (2017 – 2020), Growth Trends and Market Forecast (2021 – 2025)


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Economical Costs Paving the Way for Hydrogen Tube Trailer Market

Globally, hydrogen transportation/logistics remains the backbone of the entire hydrogen fuel pathway. Hydrogen tube trailers are pivotal in compressed gaseous hydrogen transportation at economical costs when compared to pipeline-based delivery. High costs associated with pipeline-based hydrogen delivery, coupled with inadequate pipeline infrastructure, pave the way for hydrogen tube trailers, especially for near- term distribution/delivery of compressed gaseous hydrogen.

COVID-19 outbreak has impacted the entire logistical chain, causing a temporary halt in hydrogen production due to an abrupt shutdown of production facilities. As the current global supply chain crisis and manufacturing deserts prevail, market growth and new opportunities in hydrogen fuel cell vehicles have also been halted.

Rising Investments in Hydrogen Fuelling Stations Favour Market Growth, Li-Ion Battery-powered EVs Pose a Hurdle

The global demand for hydrogen tube trailers is widely driven by year-on-year increase in consumption of gaseous hydrogen in oil refineries and petrochemical plants. Furthermore, along with industrial demand, growing investments in hydrogen refuelling stations are expected to benefit sales of hydrogen tube trailers. Compressed hydrogen trailers present a highly cost-efficient alternative for near-term distribution of gaseous hydrogen to H2 refuelling stations, than traditional pipeline delivery.

In this backdrop, EU and some more authorities from across the globe have been planning for the maximum deployment of fuel cell-based vehicles between 2022 and 2025. This initiative provides a significant impetus to providers of hydrogen tube trailer development and transportation services. The H2 tube trailer developer/service providers will be the key elements in the entire hydrogen pathway by 2025.

Over the recent past, demand for electric vehicles (EVs) that are powered by Lithium-ion batteries is accelerating at a remarkable pace. However, as growth in EV sales is eventually impacting hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicles by pulling the latter’s demand down, EVs are seemingly a significant concern for hydrogen tube trailer market.

On the other side, superior range of driving and quick refilling of hydrogen fuel cell-driven vehicles still continue to place them above EVs, which remains a strong factor sustaining the progress of hydrogen tube trailer developers and transportation service providers. In the near future, notably declining costs of Li-ion battery are likely to bring down the overall manufacturing costs of EVs, which will again create a long-term challenge for the market of hydrogen tube trailers.

Composite Tube Trailers Pose Stiff Competition to Steel Tube Trailers

Composite tube trailers have been advantageous over their steel counterparts owing to lighter weight, rust and corrosion resistance, low maintenance, cost competitiveness and high payload capacity. The key material used in manufacturing of composite tube trailers, i.e., aluminium allows owners to enjoy better gas mileage during hauling. However, toughness of steel that works best for hydrogen transportation gradually took over that of aluminium and currently, steel tube trailers dominate the market. At the same time, it is the lower capital cost and lightweight attribute of the former one that continue to attract market participants. This is expected to pose a challenge to the growing popularity of steel tube trailer in future.

Recently, composite storage vessels have been developed that can deliver 560–720 kg of hydrogen per trailer and are within the US Department of Transportation’s (DOT) height, width, and weight requirements. The largest high-pressure trailer developed by Linde Group can currently transport over 1,100 kg, or 13,100 Nm3 compressed hydrogen in a single trailer load. The new solution works at a higher pressure of 500 bar and uses new, lighter storage materials. However, this technology is not widely available.

Europe Leads and Expected to Remain Dominant by 2025

Europe dominated the market for hydrogen tube trailers. In the year 2019, more than 80 hydrogen refuelling stations came online. Demand for pure hydrogen is around 70 Mt per year, mostly for oil refining and chemical production. 36 new H2 refuelling stations were opened in Europe, followed by 38 in Asia and 8 in North America. At the end of 2019, there were 432 H2 refuelling stations across the globe. Out of these, 330 stations were open to public for vehicle refuelling like that at conventional stations.

In Asia Pacific, China and Japan will be lucrative for hydrogen tube trailers market players. As of 2019, Japan has 127 operational hydrogen refuelling stations, followed by China with 23 active hydrogen fuel stations. Both China and Japan have plans to add close to 1,400 new hydrogen refuelling stations by 2030. This is expected to drive investments into hydrogen tube trailers for transporting gaseous compressed hydrogen from generation site to refuelling stations.

In the past five years, there has been a sharp increase in the number of public hydrogen stations owing to increase in sales for fuel cell-powered vehicles. Along with industrial demand (refinery & petrochemical plants) for compressed hydrogen gas, planned projects for H2 fuelling station will expedite the demand for hydrogen tube trailers over the forecast period.

Global Hydrogen Tube Trailer Market: Competitive Landscape

Key players competing in hydrogen tube trailer market include Praxair, Inc., Air Liquide S.A., Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., INOX Air Products Ltd., Iwatani Corporation, Hydrogenics Corporation, Linde AG, Messer Group GmbH, Nuvera Fuel Cells, Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation, Caloric Anlagenbau, Xebec Adsorption, Showa Denko K.K. (SDK), Nel ASA, Plug Power, Ally Hitech Co. Ltd, Gulf Cryo, Teledyne Technologies, and Baosteel Gases. Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. offers transportation service for both liquid and gaseous hydrogen. The company offers gaseous hydrogen tube trailers of up to 2,400 psig pressure and 142–300 kg/trailer capacity.

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