As it targets emissions free operation Ports of Auckland has committed to build a hydrogen production and refuelling facility at its Waitematā port.
As part of the project the port and its partners Auckland Council, Auckland Transport and KiwiRail, will invest in hydrogen fuel cell vehicles including port equipment, buses and cars.
Ports of Auckland chief executive Tony Gibson explained: "We have an ambitious target to be a zero emission port by 2040. In order to meet that target we need a new renewable and resilient power source for heavy equipment like tugs and straddle carriers, which are difficult to power with batteries. Hydrogen could be the solution for us as it can be produced and stored on site, allows rapid refuelling, and provides greater range than batteries."
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The port will fund construction of the facility which will produce hydrogen from tap water with vehicles storing energy in fuel cells.
"If this trial is successful the technology would have a very wide application. It could help Auckland and New Zealand towards energy self-sufficiency and our emission reduction goals,” Gibson said.
“Trucks, trains and ferries could also run on hydrogen – something which is already being done overseas – which would be a significant benefit for the community. Hydrogen powered vehicles are quieter and emit nothing more than clean water."
The New Zealand port joins a number of others globally in trialling hydrogen as a fuel source including the Port of LA and Port of Long Beach, Port of Honolulu, Port of Valencia and Port of Rotterdam.