Hydrogen Pilot Project Launched for Trucking in Port of Vancouver

Vancouver hydrogen demonstration
The hydrogen project will establish a filling station and demonstration trucks to operate in the Port of Vancouver (file photo)

Published Jun 9, 2023 4:44 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Provincial Government of British Columbia (Canada) is providing financial support for a new project designed to test and demonstrate equipment for the decarbonization of operations at the Port of Vancouver. They plan to give a boost to the efforts supporting the use of hydrogen while highlighting that the transport sector is one of the most difficult to decarbonize.

“We’re working to reduce emissions in B.C.'s commercial transport sector, which accounts for about 60 percent of transport emissions and 25 percent of total provincial emissions,” said Josie Osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation of British Columbia. “Hydrogen will be essential in helping B.C. make the transition to cleaner energy solutions as we work toward meeting legislated greenhouse gas reduction targets.”

British Columbia is providing C$4 million (US$3 million) to support the BC Hydrogen Ports Project (BCH2 Ports Project), which they are calling one of the first of its kind in Canada and the province’s first large-scale project to use hydrogen and fuel cells in the shipping and transportation sectors. A consortium of Canadian companies is contributing to the project which will be led by HTEC, a clean-hydrogen production, distribution, dispensing, and fleet-services company. 

One element of the project will see the installation of HTEC’s higher-capacity fueling station, initially serving heavy-duty hydrogen electric vehicles. HTEC will supply the hydrogen supply for the project.

In addition, the project will demonstrate four fuel-cell electric yard trucks, and two Class 8 drayage trucks that HTEC will lease to fleet operators. The fuel-cell electric trucks are being developed by Hexagon using its Type IV hydrogen-storage system and high-energy density Li-ion battery packs, and powered by Ballard’s FCmove HD+ fuel-cell engine, designed specifically for heavy-duty mobility applications.

For the duration of the pilot project, expected to begin in early 2024, these HTEC vehicles will be operated by Harbour Link Container Services, Tidewater Container Services, and BC Ferries Commercial Services. They will operate throughout the Port of Vancouver.

Organizers of the project estimated that it will be able to reduce CO2 emissions by 110 kilotonnes of CO2 equivalent per year. They also believe it will serve as a model for further adoption of hydrogen in Canada.