Felixstowe port to be hydrogen-powered in green energy plan
Felixstowe and Harwich ports are set to be at the centre of an innovative new project which could see the terminals powered by hydrogen. The clean fuel would be used to power port equipment, ships, trucks and trains. The hydrogen hub project has been drawn up as part of the Freeport East bid, which it is said could generate 13,500 new jobs, investment of over GBP500m and provide a GBP5.5bn economic boost over a 10-year period.
The Freeport East Hydrogen Hub would bring together nuclear, hydrogen, maritime and transport decarbonisation schemes.
How the Freeport East green hydrogen hub would work - Credit: Freeport East Backers say that as a pillar of the Freeport East bid, it could begin to create significant numbers of new jobs within the next 12 months and demonstrate the UK's Net Zero capabilities in the build-up to COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference being hosted by the UK in November. At its peak, the power project, which will be delivered in partnership with Ryse-Hydrogen and EDF, developers of the proposed Sizewell C nuclear power station, will produce 1GW of hydrogen - 20% of the 5GW target in the Prime Minister's Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution.
Clemence Cheng, managing director, Hutchison Ports Europe - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown
Clemence Cheng, managing director, Hutchison Ports Europe, said: "The development of the Hydrogen Hub will allow the Port of Felixstowe and Harwich International to lead in the development of alternative fuel port equipment. "Establishing a test-bed to showcase hydrogen's potential in a port environment will establish the UK as a clear leader in developments that will help address climate change and the net-zero agenda. "With the largest road, rail and maritime freight hub in the country as part of our bid, we have the scale necessary to secure the early take-up of hydrogen power across the freight and maritime sectors."
George Kieffer, Chairman of the Freeport East Project Board, said: "Green energy is at the heart of the Freeport East proposition. The development of the Hydrogen Hub, and the involvement of serious partners in Ryse-Hydrogen and EDF, shows that ours is a proposal backed by real substance. "By creating a hotbed for green energy innovation Freeport East will create high-value jobs helping drive regeneration both locally and nationally."
Machinery on the quaysides at the Port of Felixstowe, Britain's premier container port, cold be powered by hydrogen - Credit: Picture courtesy of the Port of Felixstowe
Jo Bamford, executive chairman of Ryse-Hydrogen, said it would rival the world's biggest 'green' projects.
"Incredible things happen when like-minded industries join forces," he explained. "The Government wants to kick-start a green recovery and it is projects like this one which can deliver.
"In addition to hydrogen production and zero-emission transport at the ports, it contributes to the nuclear power programme, will use power from wind farms off the East Anglian coast, will drive innovation and promote green maritime - that's six boxes ticked of the PM's Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution."