Port gantries, railway trains and containers

Port of Felixstowe explores green hydrogen production

Image credit: Port of Felixstowe

ScottishPower and Hutchison Ports are developing plans to build a production plant for ‘green’ hydrogen to provide clean fuel for customers at Britain’s busiest container port.

The multi-hundred-megawatt facility could deliver up to 40 tonnes of hydrogen per day, which the companies say has the potential to decarbonise industry and transport in eastern England.

The hydrogen – produced from water using electricity from renewable sources – would be used for onshore purposes, such as road, rail, and industrial use, with the potential to create liquid forms, such as green ammonia or e-methanol. This could, in turn, provide clean fuels for shipping and aviation, and create opportunities for cost-effective export to international markets.

The project team aims to continue engineering and site development works to align with customer demand from 2025 onwards.

ScottishPower says ‘homemade’ green hydrogen has clear benefits for the security of UK energy supply and is a safe, long-term energy solution that could be vital for those who cannot decarbonise their operations through renewable electricity alone.

As well as accelerating the potential for cleaner industrial processes at the port, green hydrogen is seen as a solution for the heavy transport sector, which is a significant contributor to the UK’s current carbon emissions.

Barry Carruthers, hydrogen director at ScottishPower, said: “This strategically important project could potentially create a clean fuels hub that could unlock nationally significant decarbonisation for the region, as well as playing a role in international markets.

“It’s perfectly located not far from our existing and future offshore wind farms in the East Anglia region, and demonstrates how renewable electricity and green hydrogen can now start to help to decarbonise road, rail, shipping and industry.”

ScottishPower already has two green hydrogen projects in Scotland, in the Cromarty Firth and at Whitelee in Glasgow.

Last year, to coincide with COP26, the Port of Felixstowe announced plans to order 48 electric tractors and 17 zero-emission remote controlled electric rubber-tyred gantry cranes (ReARTGs) as the first batch of new equipment in a move to phase out diesel-powered yard cranes.

The port handles more than 4 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) and is used by around 2,000 ships each year, including the largest container vessels. Approximately 6,000 heavy goods vehicles pass through the port and surrounding areas every day, creating a substantial opportunity to help decarbonise goods transport in the UK.

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