Spain’s Valencia Port has gained the recognition of being the first port in Europe to tap hydrogen for running its cargo operations.
Pilot program launched
The project has been launched under a $4.6 million European pilot program that aims to reduce port activities’ environmental impact. The project will start with the use of a reach stacker and of a terminal tractor, used to manipulate containers, both powered by hydrogen batteries.
A statement released by the port, “The pilot project, denominated H2Ports, also incorporates the installation of a new mobile station to supply hydrogen, that in the initial phase of the project will work in the terminals of Grimaldi (Valencia Terminal Europa) and MSC of the Port of Valencia. The H2Ports will allow demonstrating the use in real operations of these new prototypes in the Grimaldi and MSC terminals”.
Other partners in the project are the United States-based equipment manufacturer Hyster-Yale Materials Handling; the Europe division based in Denmark of Canada-based developer of fuel cell products Ballard Power Systems; and Enagas, a Spain-based natural gas transportation company with operations elsewhere in Europe and Latin America.
Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking, an organization that receives aid from the European Union’s Hydrogen Europe Research and Hydrogen Europe, contributed to the financing.
The statement added,“Hydrogen is an alternative to fossil fuels that unlike traditional energy sources does not release carbon dioxide or monoxide. When hydrogen burns, it combines with the oxygen in the air and mixes with water. The hydrogen energy is recyclable because its way of escape is its conversion to water”.
Valencia port leads the way
The plan was made possible after authorities of the Valencia Port signed an accord with Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking to promote the use of hydrogen. As many as 88 regions and cities of 22 countries in Europe are participating in efforts related to finding ways to promote the use of hydrogen.
Valencia, located on Spain’s southeastern Mediterranean Sea coast, has been known in recent years for its futuristic structures. The port moves over 5 million containers annually, it is one of the two main ports of Spain in traffic and moving cargo.
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