Hydrogen Fact Finding Trip
A team of DUAL Ports partners and hydrogen-interested professionals went on a Fact Finding Trip to several different companies investing in hydrogen technologies now and in the future.
Hydrogen has become an even greater interesting opportunity for ports to utilize sustainable energy. Many port’s surroundings provide an optimal position of strong ressources from nature that can help produce green energy, e.g. wind, wave and solar energy. The green energy may not only be used to power homes and business but also to create an alternative to fossil fuels for vessels, ferries, cars, busses among others.
At the end of June 2020, a team of Dual Ports partners participated in a fact-finding tour through Denmark, where they visited several companies involved in the hydrogen industry.
Today, green hydrogen is promoted as one of newer CO2-friendly fuels to be implemented in the shipping industry. More and more different types of ships are considering hydrogen propulsion or the installation of hydrogen fuel cells. From a port perspective, working with this new type of fuel is a challenge but also an opportunity to create new businesses, whereby the ports can play a multiple role. Not only can the port become a storage and bunkering station for green hydrogen, but it can also take up a role in the distribution of green hydrogen and in the production, insofar renewable energy sources are availabe in the neighbourhood.
The fact-finding tour was launched at the port of Hvide Sande. Considering the different sources of renewable energy that are available within the port (wind, solar, wave), the port and the District Heating company are to use the surplus energy for the production of green hydrogen within the scope of grid balancing. Next to the port and the district heating is also the Hvide Sande shipyard committed to build a hydrogen-powered dredging vessel that can be used within the port of Hvide Sande in order to guarantee the maritime accessibility.
The next stop on the tour was the Hy-balance plant in Hobro, a production plant for green hydrogen, that has been realized with European funding. The plant is the result of a cooperation between Hydrogen Valley, Air Liquide, Hydrogenics, Ludwig-Bölkow-Systemtechnik and Centrica. The plant manager gave the delegation a clear insight in the whole value chain of production, storage and distribution of green hydrogen. As to electrolyser, PEM (Polymer electrolyte membrane) technology is used. The whole plant is monitored 24h/24h and 7/7. The fragility of some of the components causes a lot of headaches for the plant manager.
From Hobro, the delegation drove up to Aalborg, where the operation of the hydrogen fuelling station for busses was explained by the project managers, active at the university of Aalborg. The city of Aalborg took 3 hydrogen-powered busses into service in March 2020. The use of these busses will save approximately 60,000 liters of diesel per year and reduce the CO2-emissions by 131 tons annually. In order to produce the necessary green hydrogen, an alkaline electrolyser is used in the plant. Also this pilot project is partly financed by the European Union.
The next was Blue World Technologies, situated at the port of Aalborg. Blue World Technologies is a Danish-Chinese joint venture, where methanol fuel cells are produced in order to replace the traditional combustion engines in cars. Fossil free methanol can be produced through a synthesis of green hydrogen and CO2. According to the managers of the company, the use of methanol fuel cells has a lot of advantages: contrary to electric cars, it can execute a normal travelling range of 1000 kilometers; the refuelling time is very quick, there is a significant fuel cost saving (30% and more) and there are zero harmful emissions. Also the storage of liquid methanol is much easier than the storage of hydrogen. For the production of the hydrogen, PEM technology is used.
The last stop before returning to Copenhagen was the enterprise Green Hydrogen Systems in Kolding. The focus of this company lies on the production of electrolysers, based upon pressurised alkaline technology. According to the CEO of the company, this type of electrolysers have many advantages in comparison with the PEM technology. High efficiency and high durability are 2 selling-points. But surprisingly, this type of alkaline electrolyser is able to handle dynamic operations with variable energy loads. Green Hydrogen Systems is one of the most advanced electrolyser producers in Europe.
About the future of hydrogen in Hvide Sande
Port of Hvide Sande and Hvide Sande District Heating (located on the port area) are looking into the opportunities to create hydrogren from surplus production from their three offshore windmills – and transfer the heat from hydrogen production to Hvide Sande District Heating. Within DUAL Ports, Hvide Sande District Heating is working on the HEAT-pilot and they expect to be 94% CO2 neutral in their energy production with help from a new heat pump.
However, hydrogen is an additional step to reduce the port’s environmental footprints and gain optimal use of green energy. 200 days a year, a dredger works on removing sand from the harbour, so the water depth does not affect the port’s and business’s activities. Hvide Sande Shipyard is working on developing a hydrogen-powered vessel. Negotiations with the Danish Coast Directorate will, however, be crucial for the plans between Port of Hvide Sande, Hvide Sande District Heating and Hvide Sande Shipyard.
During two days, the group visited the following companies (in Denmark)
The following attended on the Fact Finding Trip
Wim Stubbe, Lead partner of DUAL Ports
Jens Møller, Front Officer of DUAL Ports
Josephine Petersen, Communication Officer of DUAL Ports
Jens Damgaard, Business Development Manager at Business Vordingborg, Partner of DUAL Ports
Bent Haumann, Business Development Manager af Port of Vordingborg, Partner of DUAL Ports
Martin Halkjær Kristensen, Operations Manager at Hvide Sande District Heating, Partner of DUAL Ports
Kasper Teilmann, Consultant at GEMBA Seafood Consulting, Partner of DUAL Ports
Torben Falholt, on behalf of MEQ