US oil refiner and retailer Phillips 66 says it will build about 250 new hydrogen refuelling stations in Germany, Denmark and Austria by 2026 — and supply them with green H2 — after closing on a 50-50 joint venture with Switzerland’s H2 Energy Europe (H2EE).

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There are currently 161 hydrogen filling stations in operation around Europe, according to hydrogen-refuelling website H2.Live.

The new joint venture, Jet H2 Energy, will install hydrogen filling pumps for trucks, vans and cars at Phillips 66’s existing “Jet” branded retail stations, as well as “new locations on major transport routes and at customer sites”.

“The company intends to supply its sites with green hydrogen and build relationships with customers and original equipment manufacturers,” Phillips 66 said in a statement.

Its joint-venture partner, Zurich-based H2EE, hit the headlines in May when it made the world's largest ever order for electrolysers — 1GW from US supplier Plug Power. The Swiss company — itself a joint venture between Singapore-based commodity trader Trafigura and parent H2 Energy Holding AG — said it would use the machines to produce green hydrogen from offshore wind at a $1bn subsidy-free project in Esbjerg, Denmark.

While Jet H2 Energy is hugely bullish about its plans — with CEO Olaf Borbor declaring “we will make hydrogen a leading energy solution for emission-free mobility” — Phillips 66 admitted: “Jet H2 Energy will require governmental funding, where applicable, for the development of the refuelling network.”

Phillips 66 is one of the world's most valuable companies, with a current market capitalisation of $42bn.