A consortium comprising four Scottish renewable and maritime companies has secured a grant exceeding £535,000 from the UK Government Department for Transport. The funding aims to spearhead an innovative approach that utilizes clean hydrogen energy to significantly reduce carbon emissions from vessels during port berthing.
Championed by Forth Ports, the pioneering trial at The Port of Leith will witness large tugs powered by green hydrogen generated from treated wastewater. The ambitious year-long project, led by Forth Ports in collaboration with Waterwhelm, Logan Energy, and PlusZero, focuses on creating a cutting-edge demonstrator system for green hydrogen shore power. This transformative system is poised to replace conventional diesel-powered setups on port quaysides.
The project leverages Scottish innovation in renewable energy and maritime technologies, bringing together expertise from the water, energy, and transport sectors. Notably, it marks the first-of-its-kind demonstration at a UK port, setting the stage for a circular economy approach to port decarbonization across the nation.
The green hydrogen used in the project will be produced from treated wastewater sourced from a nearby water treatment facility, ensuring environmental sustainability without compromising local water supplies. Waterwhelm’s specialized water treatment technology plays a crucial role in this process, enabling water re-use and desalination at significantly lower pressure, thereby reducing electricity consumption and carbon emissions.
Waterwhelm’s expertise in water re-use and desalination processes, Logan Energy’s electrolyser technology, and PlusZero’s combustion engine collectively form a robust alliance driving the green hydrogen initiative. Logan Energy’s electrolysis process splits re-use water into oxygen and hydrogen, with the latter serving as a clean fuel for PlusZero’s combustion engine. This engine generates green electricity, providing shore power for vessels and eliminating the need for environmentally detrimental diesel generators.
The project is part of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition Round 4 (CMDC4), funded by the UK Department for Transport and delivered by Innovate UK. As part of the UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions (UK SHORE) program, the initiative aims to develop technologies essential for decarbonizing the UK domestic maritime sector.
Maritime Minister Lord Davies emphasized the transformative potential of such projects, envisioning a sustainable maritime sector that not only reduces emissions but also creates highly skilled jobs across the UK. This venture represents a crucial step in realizing a cleaner, greener future for the maritime industry, aligning with global efforts to combat climate change.