Port of Rotterdam Spearheads Hydrogen-Powered Trucking Plan

Image courtesy Air Liquide

Published Jul 9, 2020 2:00 PM by The Maritime Executive

This week, industrial gas supplier Air Liquide and the Port of Rotterdam Authority announced a joint initiative to enable 1,000 hydrogen-powered zero-emission trucks in the Netherlands, Belgium, and West Germany by 2025. The partners include truck manufacturers VDL Groep and Iveco/Nikola, truck operators Vos Logistics, Jongeneel Transport and HN Post, and a number of fuel cell suppliers. According to the port, it is one of the largest projects in Europe for the development of hydrogen trucks and related infrastructure, and it is expected to reduce emissions by 100,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

In order to have 1,000 hydrogen-powered trucks on the road, including 500 based in the Port of Rotterdam area, the necessary infrastructure needs to be developed and deployed. This includes 25 high capacity hydrogen stations and the electrolysis equipment to produce low-carbon hydrogen. 

"This project gives substance to our ambition to make transport more sustainable. With this coalition of partners that complement one another, we can give zero emission road transport a boost. In doing so we take our responsibility as Europe's largest port and help local, national and European authorities to realize their ambitions," said Allard Castelein, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority.

The partners in the program bring expertise in each practical element required, from vehicle design through fuel distribution and logistics operations. Air Liquide and the Port of Rotterdam expect to invite more parties to join this initiative in the coming months. The project will begin with a feasibility study, and a final investment decision is expected at the end of 2022.

"Fighting climate change is central to the mission of Air Liquide and we are developing a wide range of solutions. In energy transition, we are convinced that hydrogen is essential. For heavy-duty transport, hydrogen will play a significant role and offer the path to a sustainable, carbon-neutral age of mobility," said François Jackow, Air Liquide EVP. "This alliance demonstrates the commitment of the parties to join forces towards the common ambition to fight against climate change. Air Liquide will bring to the project its unique expertise in the mastery of the entire hydrogen chain developed over the past 50 years."