03 March 2021

Seven projects for a climate-neutral port

Bremerhaven as flagship maritime test area for hydrogen technologies bremenports submits funding application to Berlin with detailed project outlines

 “H2Bx.MariTransGate” stands for one of the most ambitious projects to promote climate protection and the transition to green transport in the Federal Land of Bremen. As part of a nationwide competition, bremenports has now submitted a comprehensive “IPCEI Expression of Interest” in cooperation with Bremerhaven Economic Development Company BIS. “On submitting this application, we plan to make Bremerhaven a flagship test area for hydrogen technologies in the maritime transport sector,” explains bremenports Managing Director Robert Howe. “The important thing about this is that the seven individual projects presented in the overall application are all closely interlinked. The 180-page project outline covers the production of green hydrogen from renewable energy sources, specific fields of application in Bremerhaven as an international transport node, as well as the import of hydrogen. It is hoped that these projects will generate important impetus for the promotion of hydrogen technologies in port operations as part of the transport sector.” 

The competition was organised by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, the Federal Ministry for Digital Infrastructure and Transport, and the Federal Ministry of the Environment. Funding is available for projects which are suitable for generating important impetus for implementation of the national hydrogen strategy.

IPCEI stands for “Important Project of Common European Interest”, i.e. key transnational projects which play an important role for growth, employment and competitiveness of the European industry and economy with the help of government funding. IPCEI projects are intended to promote the strategic goals of the European Union (EU) and create positive effects in the entire EU.

Robert Howe states, “By opting for a broad base for our funding application, we are confident that Bremerhaven, as a European seaport and national trimodal transport hub, can contribute to the hydrogen strategies that are currently being drawn up on a European, national and local level.”

To achieve this aim, additional renewable energy is to be generated at the ports and used to supply a “port electrolyser”, which will produce hydrogen and thus promote the integration of renewable energy in the overall energy supply for this area. The green hydrogen that is generated will be used to power port and transport applications, such as mobile power packs, ship engines, shunting locomotives, trucks and, at a later stage, handling equipment.

It is already evident that the demand for hydrogen and its derivatives will increase over the medium term: the transition to hydrogen in Bremen’s steel producing industry is a clear indicator of this trend. Another central element in preparing for this change will be to establish import and distribution structures and to integrate carbon capture and carbon transport chains at the port.

The consortium headed by bremenports and BIS would welcome the support and participation of other project partners for the next planning phases and subsequent implementation. It is hoped that this process will receive targeted support from the German federal government, the governments of the individual German Laender and the EU.

“The “Green Hydrogen for Bremerhaven” project is being conducted by highly respected research partners and has already received funding of 20 million euros from Lower Saxony and the European Union (ERDF). This project is the first step towards establishing a hydrogen competence centre in Bremerhaven. The next module in this strategy is the project for which we have now applied for funding, the Test Area for Hydrogen Technologies, and is intended to generate important new impetus for further hydrogen projects. The close cooperation between the project partners to set up a common competence centre in Bremerhaven is the right approach and also brings Bremerhaven to the attention of business enterprises from other areas,” says Nils Schnorrenberger, Managing Director of BIS.

In a letter of support, Dr Claudia Schilling, Senator for Science and Ports, explicitly endorsed the joint application. “The seaport of Bremerhaven offers ideal conditions for acting as role model for other seaports to demonstrate the successful integration of green hydrogen and to set the course in the right direction for the entire transport sector.” In particular, Senator Schilling stressed the broad-based approach to the use of hydrogen at the seaport location Bremerhaven which will enable an overall energy system based on renewable energy sources. Schilling adds, “Thanks to the transport-focussed applications and the creation of import structures, these projects can make a major contribution to promoting the marketability of hydrogen technology.”

Over the next two months, the responsible federal ministries will assess the approximately 200 projects submitted by the applicants and draw up a short list before approaching the Federal Laender involved. The jointly favoured selection of projects could then be submitted to the EU for approval. The applications can then be submitted at the end of the year so that the projects could begin in 2022. Implementation of the project outlines submitted by bremenports in cooperation with BIS Bremerhaven, Siemens AG, Weserfähre GmbH and Brüssel & Maass Logistik GmbH as well as numerous supporters is scheduled for a period of five years.

The joint application submitted by bremenports and BIS was prepared with the support of numerous institutions, including in particular

The Senator for Science and Ports
The Mayor of Bremerhaven
The North German Maritime Cluster
H2BX eV.,wab e.V.,

The joint projects are as follows:

H2Bx.HyGrid / Contact: bremenports

Based on the results of the SHARC R&D project funded by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs, a project outline for the further implementation was drawn up in cooperation with Siemens AG. Wind energy and photovoltaic systems are to be used to generate additional renewable energy which will then be fed into a smart micro-grid to be set up for the port area and also supply a “port electrolyser”. The green hydrogen that is generated will be stored temporarily in tanks before it is distributed to users at the port.

An electrical storage unit will also be used for interim storage of the renewable energy generated at peak times. This project also includes the assessment of proposals for new operating strategies.

H2Bx.HyDistriTerm / Contact: bremenports

This project is aimed at the development and establishment of handling, processing and distribution systems designed specifically for the import and distribution of hydrogen and hydrogen derivatives which are to be produced at the Überseehafen in Bremerhaven. Demand for hydrogen is forecast to rise in line with increasing demand from industry and shipping and once production capacities are created at production locations with favourable conditions for generation (e.g. Iceland, Norway, Northern Africa and the Middle East). The hydrogen will be imported in a new type of container. Specialist tanker vessels will be used for the hydrogen derivatives.

H2Bx.HyShunter / Contact: bremenports

evb, Alstom, Hy Solutions, HPA and bremenports have set up a separate cooperation to investigate the development of a hydrogen-powered shunting locomotive.

The ultimate aim is to enable the operation and above all create refuelling facilities for hydrogen-powered shunting locomotives at the port areas in Bremerhaven and Hamburg. In the Bremerhaven project, the aim is to create refuelling facilities for the new locomotives and also for innovative vessels with hydrogen propulsion technology ideally as a multimodal refuelling station which can also be used by road vehicles.

H2Bx.HyShipSol / Contact: bremenports

Mobile hydrogen-based electricity generators and four new ships equipped with hydrogen propulsion systems are to provide a solution for shipping to support the market launch of hydrogen technology and utilise locally produced hydrogen. The project refers to service vessels used by bremenports and other government vessels operated by the harbourmaster and the river police.

H2Bx.HyLiner / Contact: Weserfähre GmbH

The seagoing passenger vessel GEESTEMÜNDE II is to be developed, designed, built and operated in line with best scientific and technical practice to ensure sustainability and efficient use of resources, using state-of-the-art methods, concepts and processes. The GEESTEMÜNDE II will be a flagship example of the safe and reliable use of methanol fuel cells in seagoing vessels. Together with the vessels in the HyShipSol sub-project, this will be a major milestone and provide important impetus for the decarbonisation of marine shipping.

H2Bx.HyFuel / Contact: BIS

This sub-project involves the development and construction of a production plant for synthetic methane and methanol up to an industrial scale and will be the starting point for the large-scale production of carbon-neutral marine fuels for industrial applications at Bremerhaven. It will create the conditions required for the provision of the synthetic, climate-neutral fuels methane and methanol for shipping and for supplying green methanol as fuel for the GEESTEMÜNDE II.

H2Bx.HyCompany / Contact: Brüssel & Maas Logistik GmbH

This project is aimed at developing and establishing an independent energy supply system which will cover all the individual operating processes of a typical transport company in the logistics business, such as refuelling the trucks, electricity supply as well as air-conditioning and heating for the building infrastructure. The main energy source will be electricity from the company’s own photovoltaic systems and green hydrogen generated by the user.

Media contact:

Holger Bruns
bremenports GmbH & Co. KG
Tel.: + 49 (0)471 309 01-103
E-mail: Holger.Bruns@bremenports.de