Nel received a report of an incident involving a fire at the Kjørbo hydrogen station outside Oslo, Norway, at 17:40 CEST on June 10, 2019. The fire was contained just after 20:00 CEST. Immediately upon receiving notification, Nel mobilized its crisis response team in Norway and Denmark.


Current status

The investigation into the root cause of the leak and ignition is ongoing and progressing well. The process has solidified the preliminary conclusions given in previous updates.

When further material and verified information is available, Nel will provide a new update. We anticipate this happening within the next week or so. Assuming the root cause is identified and confirmed, Nel intends to hold a press and investor conference to share all relevant information publicly.

We will continue to assist our customers in getting stations safely back into operation as quickly as possible.

Going forward, Nel will share all findings with the hydrogen industry and other stakeholders.

(Published: 20 June, 2019)

Preliminary findings

The preliminary Gexcon investigation shows that the incident started with a hydrogen leakage from the high-pressure storage unit and that a ‘cloud’ of hydrogen ignited. The investigations continue in order to identify the root cause of the leak as well as the source of the ignition.

“Based on further investigations, we can say with certainty that the leak started in the high-pressure storage unit, and we are now carrying out investigations to understand the detailed mechanisms of the leakage as well as what caused the ignition,” says Geirmund Vislie, Vice President Consulting of Gexcon.

Together with the authorities, Nel and Gexcon are conducting an off-site examination of the high-pressure storage unit, which comprises of both tanks and components from third-party suppliers and various components designed by Nel. Various tests and analysis have been initiated and will continue until the parties have a clear understanding of exactly where and how the leak started. Further investigations and data simulations will also look into the source of the ignition.

The low-pressure steel and composite storages were neither the source of the leak, nor the source of the ignition. No tanks ruptured in the incident.

“We can now conclude that Nel’s core technologies were not the source of the leakage. However, we are still searching for what ignited the hydrogen. We are grateful for all the parties that are working hard day and night to uncover the root cause of the incident, and are happy to see that good progress is being made,” says Jon André Løkke, CEO of Nel.

Safety is Nel’s main priority and the company is working intensively to identify the root cause of the incident. Expert personnel continue to be on the scene, actively contributing to the ongoing formal investigation.

(Published: 12 June, 2019; Updated: 17 June, 2019)

Q: What caused the incident and what is the current status?

It is too early to say anything about the root cause of the incident. Nel currently has expert personnel on the scene and is actively contributing to the ongoing formal investigation. In addition, Nel has engaged fire and explosion safety consultants from Gexcon, who are on site and taking an active role to provide an independent incident report.

The preliminary Gexcon investigation shows that the incident started with a hydrogen leakage from the high-pressure storage unit and that a ‘cloud’ of hydrogen ignited. The investigations will continue into the root cause of the leak, as well as the source of the ignition.

(Published: 12 June, 2019; Updated: 17 June, 2019)


Q: What was the source of the leak?

The preliminary Gexcon investigation shows that the incident started with a hydrogen leakage from the high-pressure storage unit. This unit contains tanks and components from third-party suppliers and various components designed by Nel. Various tests and analysis have been initiated and will continue until the parties have a clear understanding of exactly where and how the leak started.

(Published: 17 June, 2019)

Q: What caused the ignition?

This is still not clear. Further investigations and data simulations will look into the source of the ignition.

(Published: 17 June, 2019)


Q: Can vandalism or terrorism be ruled out?

We have no indication of either vandalism or terrorism. We anticipate that the final report from the investigations carried out by the authorities will provide a definitive answer.

(Published: 14 June, 2019; Updated: 17 June, 2019)

Q: When do you expect to reach a conclusion in the investigation?

The authorities are conducting a formal investigation and have stated publicly that this will take time. In addition to contributing to the formal investigation, we will continue our own investigations and will provide updates on a regular basis.

(Published: 12 June, 2019)


Q: Was the fueling dispenser unit involved?

Gexcon has completely ruled out that the customer-facing unit, i.e. the fueling dispenser, was involved.

(Published: 13 June, 2019)

Q: Was the on site electrolyzer involved?

Gexcon has completely ruled out that the electrolyzer was involved.

(Published: 13 June, 2019)


Q: Was there an explosion?

No unit exploded at the site. Based on our current information, hydrogen gas that had leaked caught fire in open air. This created a pressure wave.

(Published: 13 June, 2019)

Q: What caused the hydrogen to leak?

This is what the investigation continues to look into. It is still too early to comment on the root cause of the leak.

(Published: 13 June, 2019)


Q: Were there any injuries or fatalities?

According to police reports, two people were treated for minor injuries due to airbags deploying in their car nearby. There were no fatalities and no on-site injuries.

(Published: 12 June, 2019)

Q: Are any other stations affected?

As a precautionary measure, Nel has recommended its customers put stations within the same product family on a temporary standby until the root cause has been identified. This includes stations both in Europe and in the US, on a total of 10 sites. Some operators have also independently decided to put stations on standby as an additional precaution.

(Published: 12 June, 2019)


Q: As a hydrogen customer, can I refuel during the temporary standby?

When a station is in temporary standby, it means that you cannot fuel at that station. We empathize deeply with the hydrogen customers who have been affected by this and are actively working to help resolve the situation as soon as possible. Safety is our main priority and until we have further information about the cause of the incident, we have recommended that stations in certain markets remain on temporary standby.

(Published: 12 June, 2019)

Q: What is the position of suppliers of hydrogen vehicles?

An official statement from Toyota Norway says that the company has not stopped sales. For the time being only deliveries have been put on hold, as refueling is currently not possible in the country. It is our understanding that other suppliers have taken similar positions.

(Published: 13 June, 2019)


Q: Are hydrogen fueling stations safe?

The hydrogen refueling stations designed and manufactured by Nel, known as H2Station™ are as safe as conventional fueling stations. They are built according to the highest level of safety and comply with codes and standards that meet the same safety levels as the oil and gas industry. The stations in Europe, the US, and Korea comply with national codes and standards, as well as international standards. The European H2Station is approved by industry-leading third parties, and complies with all relevant European and international standards, as well as applicable directives.

(Published: 12 June, 2019)

Q: Will learnings from the incident be shared?

When the root cause is clear, and all the information from the event has been gathered, we will assemble learning points to take forward. These will be shared publicly and specifically within the hydrogen industry at large.

(Published: 14 June, 2019)

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