Mavroudis Global Transportation & Logistics

Port of Duisburg developing Europe’s first climate neutral box terminal

December 20, 2021

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On the site of the former Coal Island, duisport will construct the trimodal Duisburg Gateway Terminal (DGT) by 2023 together with its international partners Cosco Shipping Logistics, Hupac SA, and the HTS Group.

To implement the complete energy transformation of the world’s largest inland port, duisport and the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology UMSICHT have analysed forward-looking technologies and developed customised models for Europe’s largest hinterland hub as part of the “enerPort” project, according to duisport.

In the follow-up project “enerPort II”, the next step is now to install a sustainable energy system in the DGT that links renewable energies, energy storage, consumers and various hydrogen technologies. Key components for this are fuel cell systems and hydrogen engines for power generation as well as battery storage.

“The largest development project since ‘logport I’ 22 years ago is a model project with a resonance far beyond the Port of Duisburg. It shows what the logistics and energy supply of tomorrow will look like,” said duisport CEO, Markus Bangen.

Other partners in the first hydrogen project to be implemented directly in the Port of Duisburg are Westenergie Netzservice GmbH, Rolls-Royce’s Power Systems business unit, Netze Duisburg GmbH, Stadtwerke Duisburg and Stadtwerke Duisburg Energiehandel GmbH.

The project is being funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection for a period of four years as part of the “Hydrogen Technology Offensive”.

The Port of Duisburg noted that the aim is for the Duisburg Gateway Terminal to be operated as self-sufficiently as possible.

“Specifically, we will implement a sustainable, hydrogen-based energy concept that aims for a high level of self-sufficiency,” said Alexander Garbar, Deputy Head of Corporate Development and Sustainability Manager at duisport.

He went on to explain, “An intelligent local energy network couples and controls renewable energies in the form of photovoltaic and hydrogen-based combined heat and power plants with electrical and thermal energy storage systems as well as hydrogen storage and consumers such as onshore power, charging stations and crane systems. A future supply of adjacent districts will also be considered on a theoretical basis.”

“Inland ports are special urban districts with their own energy requirements,” pointed out Dr. Anna Grevé, Head of the Electrochemical Energy Storage Department at Fraunhofer UMSICHT. “They provide a home for both national and international freight transport as well as other industries and trades, and are also often located close to residential areas. As a consequence, their further development must meet economic requirements alongside climate and environmental protection requirements.”

Furthermore, the modular structure of the “enerPort II” project creates the conditions for an uninterrupted continuation of the transformation process, as follow-up or satellite projects can be integrated.

In the final stage, following two construction phases, a revolutionary modal split is to be implemented at the DGT that provides for 40% transport by rail, 40% transport by inland waterway vessel and only 20% road transport by truck.

For this purpose, 240,000m² of terminal space will accommodate six gantry cranes, twelve block train tracks with a length of 730 meters, and several berths for inland waterway vessels.

Meanwhile, hydrogen-powered shunting locomotives are to be used at the DGT in the future. Otherwise, there are no reach stackers, while all goods movements are controlled digitally. Additionally, an onshore power connection is available for each barge at the dock to minimise greenhouse gas emissions.

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