Blueprint for Germany and Europe

H2 is a highly topical subject at HHLA right now. The company aims to be climate neutral by 2040. Hydrogen as an energy source can make a significant contribution to decarbonisation. A brief interview with HHLA project manager Karin Debacher.

Many companies are currently researching hydrogen and fuel cells. Is hydrogen-powered equipment also on the cards at HHLA?

With several hundred handling units and approximately 17,000 trucks stopping at the Port of Hamburg daily, the potential for decarbonisation is enormous. That is why we are planning an initiative in Hamburg that can be used as a blueprint for sites across Europe.

What does this plan look like?

We have founded the Clean Port & Logistics innovation cluster, which is funded by the German government. It forms an open organisational framework that aims to bring together equipment manufacturers, port and logistics companies, scientific partners, renewable hydrogen producers, software companies and operators or manufacturers of refuelling stations. Through supra-regional cooperation, we want to conduct tests and investigate how hydrogen can be reliably used as a fuel in port handling and heavy-lift logistics.

How quickly can this happen and what steps need to be taken?

First, the necessary tests, simulations, preliminary work and analyses are designed, then conclusions are drawn and training and education concepts are also developed straight away. At the core of activities is the construction of a test centre for hydrogen-powered equipment at the HHLA Container Terminal Tollerort in Hamburg. With this, we want to get the show on the road as quickly as possible.

That sounds ambitious...

... but it is urgently needed: The standard use of heavy-duty equipment is the goal. And in order for HHLA’s logistics to become climate neutral, we need to test the technology and build up experience in order to make it reliable and more efficient.