Friday, April 20, 2018

Hydrogen Powered Trucks to Carry Container Freight from Californian Ports

Grant for Refuelling Station Awaits Approval
Shipping News Feature
US – A year ago we revealed details of a programme being undertaken by Toyota to refuel the trucks which work in the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles with hydrogen. As so often California is the location open to revolutionary environmentally friendly projects of this kind and progress has been swift. In October there were further details and now plans to put the scheme into operation seem well under way with the news that, together with Shell, the first HGV filling station for gas powered units will be built. The East coast ports handle around 40% of US ocean imports with container freight requiring a constant stream of trucks.

The Toyota scheme, named Project Portal, is scheduled to be completed by 2023 and now Equilon Enterprises LLC (branded as Shell Oil Products US) and Toyota have been provisionally awarded $8 million by the California Energy Commission (CEC) to develop the first hydrogen-truck refuelling station at the Port of Long Beach. Last August Equilon won an award of $16 million to build seven hydrogen car refuelling stations in the state.

The funding, which is contingent upon the approval of the project at an upcoming CEC meeting, forms part of the CEC's Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, which helps develop hydrogen and electric infrastructure at ports, warehousing and distribution centres in California. Oliver Bishop, Hydrogen general manager at Shell, commented:

"This station will help the hydrogen-fuelled freight sector to flourish in California. Hydrogen offers a promising path for decarbonizing transport, particularly the heavy-duty sector where there are few alternatives to conventional fuel. Shell and Toyota will combine their expertise to deliver an effective alternative fuel for Californian freight."

When approved the station will be installed at Toyota’s Logistics Services site specifically to refuel Toyota's Project Portal heavy-duty fuel cell proof of concept truck and public fleets. Fuel for the station will come from Toyota's adjacent Tri-Gen facility, which produces hydrogen from 100% renewable biogas and Craig Scott, Director Advanced Technology Vehicles, Toyota Motor North America, observed:

"We greatly appreciate the CEC for recognizing the importance of this breakthrough project at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. Toyota continues to demonstrate that fuel cells are one of the most innovative and sustainable technologies for light and heavy-duty vehicle electrification. This initiative with Shell further strengthens our combined commitment to hydrogen as a viable transport fuel and complements our retail station project in Northern California."