Challenges of integrating hydrogen in an operational port environment

Safety, Terminal Planning and Decision making aspects

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Hydrogen is expected to be a significant force in this transition. Hydrogen can be produced using technologies that do not emit CO2 or other greenhouse gasses (“green H2”). Hydrogen can be transported in big quantities and long distances unlike electricity and can play the role of a clean fuel. The emerging hydrogen economy, which will be accompanied by the gradual phase-out of fossil fuels, will significantly impact ports around the world. Ports can and should play a pivotal role in this “energy revolution”. Apart from import and export services, ports often include industrial clusters, they provide servicing and refuelling to visiting vessels and connect major trade routes.

This study aims at understanding and providing insights on challenges that the above-explained transition will create in a port environment focusing on hydrogen. Firstly, a favourable policy environment for hydrogen projects in the ports and maritime sector is a key topic that this study will address. This is included as a conclusion in many reports and port conferences. Secondly, the questions related to terminal planning and area requirements of hydrogen terminals remain unanswered as large scale hydrogen projects do not exist yet -with many being under development-, and thus this research will try to shed light on area calculations of hydrogen terminals. Thirdly, and lastly, terminals operators, investors and policy makers will need to make decisions on the preferred hydrogen carrier and location for various hydrogen projects that will be developed in the near future. Therefore, a method of comparison of different alternatives is required, especially when terminals are planned next to existing liquid bulk terminals.