Hamburg port to introduce more fuel cell vehicles

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The logistics & transport company Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) has founded the Clean Port & Logistics (CPL) innovation cluster to test hydrogen-powered equipment in port logistics. The innovation cluster aims to develop solutions to bring hydrogen-powered heavy-duty vehicles and terminal equipment to market maturity in a short time.

In addition to pure development, the innovation cluster will also prepare the measures necessary for practical use. The concepts developed for operation, safety, repair, maintenance, refuelling and supply will be tested and optimised in practical operation for this purpose, according to the announcement. To this end, in addition to theoretical studies, the cluster is also conducting tests and developing education and training concepts.

The declared aim of the cluster is to investigate how hydrogen can be reliably used to supply port technology and logistics. The cooperation at CPL is intended to help companies decarbonise their processes and make sensible, climate-friendly investments by gathering the necessary information and practical experience. In principle, participation is open to all interested companies – even after the kick-off, which has now taken place, companies can still join the cluster.

The centrepiece of the CPL innovation cluster is a test centre at the HHLA Container Terminal Tollerort in Hamburg – the terminal that is in the headlines due to the planned entry of the Chinese Cosco Group. In the test centre, hydrogen-powered equipment for port handling and heavy goods traffic is to be able to be tested in operation, and all the players involved are also to be able to network with each other there. The first equipment delivery is scheduled for the beginning of 2023. The planned equipment classes for the test environment are straddle carriers, empty container stackers, forklifts, reach stackers, terminal tractors and trucks. In addition, the test field is open to testing other equipment classes and systems in terminal operations.

The members include companies from a wide range of sectors related to port handling and heavy goods transport. In addition to manufacturers of vehicles, port handling equipment and filling stations, the cluster also includes suppliers of hydrogen and other fossil-free drive energies, those responsible for the logistics infrastructure (e.g. port authorities), consulting, certification and other service companies as well as scientific partners – from Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Estonia and the USA.

“I am delighted that partners from various sectors, universities, cities and ports are working together in the Clean Port & Logistics innovation cluster,” says Angela Titzrath, Chairwoman of HHLA’s Executive Board. “By pooling expertise across sectors, countries and continents, we have a shared opportunity to accelerate the transition to emissions-free heavy goods logistics and port operations.”

The cluster is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Digital Affairs and Transport as part of the National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Innovation Programme. The funding directive is coordinated by NOW GmbH and implemented by Project Management Jülich (PtJ).

With reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany.

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