HHLA launches innovation cluster to drive forward Hydrogen-powered heavy-duty port technology

Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA), together with partners, has launched Clean Ports & Logistics (CPL) to test hydrogen-powered port logistics equipment. The move is basically directed towards supporting and accelerating HHLA Container Terminal Tollerort’s market maturity and integration into normal port operations.

Supported and sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital infrastructure, HHLA will manage the cluster with the aim to reduce emissions in port handling and the associated logistics chains.

Angela Titzrath, Chairwoman of HHLA’s Executive Board said, “Port handling and heavy goods logistics will make their contribution to climate protection and improving the quality of life in urban areas. The key element here is the decarbonisation of logistics. This can be done also with the aid of hydrogen as a propulsion energy. That’s why I’m delighted that together with dedicated partners, we’re opening a cluster for the testing of this very promising new energy source. CPL will also accelerate even further the transformation process.”

The CPL brings together equipment manufacturers and port and logistics companies with scientific partners, producers of renewable hydrogen, software companies and refuelling station operators and builders. Collaborating across regions, the question of how hydrogen can be reliably used to supply port technology and logistics will be researched and practically tested. The cluster will conduct simulations and evaluations for this purpose, as well as develop educational and training concepts. A test centre for hydrogen-operated equipment will form the core of activities at the HHLA Container Terminal Tollerort in Hamburg.

The cluster is funded under the National Innovation Programme for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology by the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport. The funding guideline is coordinated by NOW GmbH and implemented by Project Management Jülich (PtJ).

“The port is a focus of our hydrogen strategy, including the use of hydrogen, particularly for intralogistics, as an important pillar. HHLA will collect valuable and comprehensive experience with the project as to how the fuel of the future can specifically contribute to achieving Hamburg’s climate goals,” Hamburg Senator Michael Westhagemann from the Authority for Economy and Innovation said as he explained the significance of the cluster for Hamburg as a location.

Johannes Daum, Head of Hydrogen, Alternative Fuels and Fuel Cells at coordinating body NOW GmbH said, “NOW is delighted to support the innovation cluster CPL as part of the e4ports network. Talking with our network, it is already clear how urgent the need for action on ports is for the energy transition. But we are also aware how dedicated port stakeholders are themselves in pursuing this objective. The CPL pushes the concrete application of hydrogen in port logistics to a new level.”

HHLA has already agreed on the first letter of intent for a delivery of hydrogen-powered empty container handlers and terminal tractors with Hyster Yale Group Inc, a leading developer and manufacturer of cargo handling machinery. The machines are already operated with fuel cells by Nuvera. Delivery of the terminal tractors is already planned for the end of 2022, with the empty container handlers following at the beginning of 2023.

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