Rostock reveals plans for hydrogen test facility


Rostock – plenty of room for planned new hydrogen facility. (Photo: Rostock Port –Nordlicht) Rostock – plenty of room for planned new hydrogen facility. (Photo: Rostock Port –Nordlicht)

Rostock has welcomed plans to build a hydrogen fuel production and processing plant for shipping in the east German Baltic port, writes Germany correspondent Tom Todd.

A statement said the port was looking at an initiative to build a “test facility” and described it as “a great opportunity” for the port and the region. It said the move could make an important contribution to CO2 neutrality in shipping, which it described as “desirable and necessary”.

More than 7,700 ships called at Rostock last year, mostly ferry and RoRo ships, and the port handled approaching 26 million tons of cargo.

The port said it welcomed initiatives to establish Rostock as an “energy port”. It noted already available space capacity in the giant overseas port area, as well as existing access to electrical energy from offshore wind power and available tank storage facilities.

All were “ideally suited for the production of ‘green hydrogen’ and a fuel synthesis based on it”, the port said. It added that further potential for the direct use of hydrogen in the port lay in local heating, fertiliser production, at petrol stations or for conversion back to electricity.

“Shipping”, Rostock declared, “is one of the areas in the transport sector that cannot be converted short term in electric drive. The fossil fuels, from which maritime fuels are currently still being extracted, must be switched to ‘green’ fuels in the short to medium term. Hydrogen is essential for this changeover.”

Rostock Port spokesman Jörg Litschka told The Motorship the hydrogen initiative had come from a working group of economic, scientific and political interests and was still in its early stages and “a long way from being concrete”. There were no firm details yet of when contruction might begin or how long it might last . It was also not clear as yet who would build or operate the facility, which Litschka described as a “small-cale plant”. 

He revealed that the working group planned further discussions on the initiative late summer.

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