Portsmouth scheme to build hi-tech eco-fuel system at Portsmouth International Port awarded £1.5m

AN AMBITIOUS project seeking to create a revolutionary new eco-fuel system for Portsmouth’s port has been awarded £1.5m.

Thursday, 16th September 2021, 4:55 am
Ferries pictured at Portsmouth International Port.

The Shipping, Hydrogen & Port Ecosystems UK (Shape UK) project was named as one of the winners of the £23m clean maritime competition, funded by the Department of Transport.

The scheme, led by environmental tech gurus at the University of Portsmouth, aims to create a ‘green hydrogen’ energy system at Portsmouth International Port.

The cash injection was announced by transport secretary Grant Shapps today as part of the greenest ever London International Shipping Week.

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Portsmouth’s port aims to become the first carbon neutral UK port by 2030 and the first zero-emission port by 2050.

The Shape UK project will help identify the barriers, infrastructure and regulatory considerations that will enable port managers to install a ‘green hydrogen’ generation and storage system within the port.

It will also supply a working vessel to the port authority, powered by an engine using green hydrogen.

Green hydrogen uses renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, to power the electrolysis of water to create hydrogen, which will be used to power ships and dockside vehicles.

Dr David Hutchinson, and expert in environmental studies at the University of Portsmouth, said: ‘The government has a very ambitious environmental target within the maritime sector. Shape UK represents a milestone in the move to innovative low-cost green hydrogen generation and storage systems that bring significant reduction in carbon emissions and air pollution in and around Portsmouth and other UK ports.

‘The port is keen to act as a “living lab” so there will be a great student experience element, which will be particularly relevant for students in our faculty of technology, such as those on the renewable energy degree.’

Jerry Clarke, senior project manager at Portsmouth International Port, said: ‘As a port operating in the heart of a major city, and that is owned by the people of Portsmouth, we have an obligation to do everything we can to minimise our impact as we continue to grow in the coming years.

‘We know that for heavy machinery and vehicles, current battery technology does not provide us with the answers that we need now. Port light goods vehicles and vans have already been replaced by zero-emission electric vehicles.

‘Hydrogen and ammonia are the future fuels identified for a zero-emission future for shipping by 2050. Shape UK puts Portsmouth International Port at the forefront of future fuel solutions for the UK.’

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