DP World chooses contractors for hydrogen RTG pilot in Vancouver

Avatar photo
by Emily Atkins

DP Word has selected contractors for a hydrogen fuel cell pilot project at its terminals at the Port of Vancouver.

Loop Energy, a hydrogen fuel cell manufacturer, and Tycrop Manufacturing, an engineering company based in Chilliwack BC, have been chosen to provide a hydrogen electric solution for DP Worlds pilot project to decarbonize its rubber-tired gantry cranes (RTGs) fleet at the Port of Vancouver. HTEC is supplying the hydrogen.

DP World Rubber-Tired Gantry Crane at The Port of Vancouver (CNW Group/TYCROP Manufacturing Ltd)

The pilot project will see DP World’s first RTG powered by hydrogen fuel cell systems put into operation at the Port. The RTG pilot is expected to begin operation in Q2 2024, and will be used as a demonstrator to scale the electrification across the organization’s global fleet in subsequent phases.

DP World’s rubber-tired gantry crane will be fitted with a Tycrop-designed dual fuel system powered by two of Loop Energy’s T505 fuel cell systems.

With 1,500 RTGs operating globally, DP World is one of the world’s largest port operators with over 80 terminals across 40 countries. DP World has committed to cut CO2 emissions from its global operations by nearly 700,000 tons over the next five years and net zero carbon enterprise by 2050, which includes replacing its global fleet of assets from diesel to electric, investing in renewable power and exploring alternative fuels.

With RTGs accounting for as much as 50 percent of shore-segment carbon emissions, DP World views development of a carbon-neutral solution for this segment of its operations as a critical component to achieving its overall decarbonization strategy.

“Decarbonization is a core focus for DP World, and we are proud to work with our local partners to deliver an innovative made in BC solution to reduce CO2 emissions from our Vancouver terminal operations. This vital pilot project aligns with DP World’s global commitment to becoming carbon neutral by 2040,” said Joel Werner, DP World general manager – Vancouver

Rubber-tired gantry cranes have a unique set of operating requirements that makes hydrogen fuel cells the viable pathway for achieving zero emissions, in a way that is not achievable by diesel-electric hybrid solutions. Hydrogen is refueled quickly, allowing no compromise on their all-day operating hours, and fuel cells can operate efficiently and reliably under different weather conditions and power requirements.

DP World has chosen to conduct the pilot at the Port of Vancouver not only because the region is a hotbed of world-leading fuel cell and hydrogen companies, but also for the regional business ecosystem that is strongly supported by the Province of BC.

Tycrop invested and entered a strategic partnership with hydrogen specialist H2 Portable to rapidly develop and deploy a Hydrogen Electric Generator (HEG) for DP World. Tycrop’s record in design, construction and execution of complex and operationally imperative equipment was a key qualifier to DP World’s selection, with the RTG testing conducted in real port conditions and everyday terminal operations.

Tycrop president and CEO, Scott Mason said, “We’ve developed a ground-breaking ‘HEG’ capable of replacing 1 megawatt of diesel power and eliminating the consumption of 80,000 liters of diesel fuel each year. The HEG, combined with a lithium battery and our energy regeneration technology, provides DP World with class-leading energy efficiency. We are excited to see this technology come to life, and together with the team at H2 Portable, explore other future applications.”

Loop Energy’s hydrogen fuel cells were selected for their high fuel efficiency, a key differentiator of the company’s eFlow proprietary technology. Fuel consumption plays a central role in decarbonizing RTGs given they operate up to 20 hours per day, where higher fuel efficiency not only reduces fuel cost, but also reduces operating downtime by achieving longer operating hours between refueling.

Loop Energy President and CEO, Ben Nyland said, “Loop Energy is thrilled to see our fuel cells in use with a global logistics leader like DP World, and working alongside leading industry partners to launch this first-of-its-kind project at the Port of Vancouver. We believe hydrogen fuel cells are critical to enabling the decarbonization of large material handling equipment like RTGs, and we look forward to the successful completion of this pilot to showcase its viability.”

“We are proud to take another tangible step towards reducing emissions at the Port of Vancouver by supporting the use of alternative, low-emission fuels and technologies like hydrogen through the Low-Emission Technology Initiative,” said Duncan Wilson, vice-president of environment and external affairs at the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority.

“We look forward to the launch of this important pilot project to test hydrogen-powered equipment at the Port of Vancouver, towards our goal of phasing out all port-related emissions by 2050.”