fossil fuels

Copenhagen, Hamburg container terminals bid farewell to fossil fuels

Container terminals in Copenhagen and Hamburg have taken another step towards carbon neutrality by phasing out fossil fuels.


Copenhagen Malmö Port (CMP) has decided to gradually start using fossil-free fuel hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO100) for CMP’s machines at the container terminal from November 2023.

Initially, the port’s newer terminal tractors, as well as rear loaders and industrial trucks, will be supplied with HVO100. It is expected that with this step, CMP can reduce fossil diesel consumption by approximately 60,000 liters per year, which corresponds to a reduction of about 130 tonnes of CO2 annually.

CMP ordered new straddle carriers with battery-hybrid drive line in April 2023. When they gradually come into service, they will also use HVO100. The container terminal’s large ship-to-shore (STS) cranes and work vehicles already run exclusively on electricity from renewable sources.

In 2025, the container terminal in Copenhagen will move to Ydre Nordhavn and CMP expects by that time all fossil fuels will be phased out at all terminals.

“The green transition of CMP’s operations is not something we are only planning for in the future – it is already happening now and the phasing in of HVO100 at the container terminal in Copenhagen is a very important and natural step in our efforts to be one of the world’s most sustainable ports,” Povl Dolleris Røjkjær Ungar, COO, Copenhagen Malmö Port.

“CMP has already reduced CO2 emissions by 57% since 2020 and we expect to reach the target of carbon neutrality by 2025. The phase-in of HVO100 follows the replacement of CMP’s machinery and means that CMP can also support our customers’ demand for fossil-free and CO2-neutral transport chains.”

In Malmö, CMP has phased in HVO100, which has reduced CMP’s emissions by over 840 tonnes CO2e annually.

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At Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG’s (HHLA) Container Terminal Altenwerder in Hamburg, the automated guided vehicle (AGV) fleet is now fully battery-powered. With this step, HHLA has continued its efforts to gradually replace the last vehicles running on fossil fuels with battery-powered alternatives.

In the fourth quarter of 2023, CTA decommissioned the last diesel-powered container transporter. From now on, the new AGV fleet consists of 95 battery-powered vehicles that run on green electricity. This means that fossil energy is no longer necessary at any stage of the container transport process from the ship to the container storage system – it is now entirely electrified.

By switching to battery-powered AGVs and the associated significant reduction in diesel consumption, around three million liters of diesel are saved at CTA every year, which is equivalent to around 8,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

“The now completed switch to battery-powered AGVs at CTA underlines once more the pioneering role of CTA with regard to sustainability, as we avoid thousands of tonnes of CO2 emissions every year thanks to the reduced diesel consumption. We will also continue to invest in the electrification of the equipment of the other HHLA terminals in order to achieve climate-neutral operations across the Group by 2040,” Oliver Dux, Director of Technology at HHLA, said.

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In August, CTA once again received certification as a climate-neutral company from TÜV NORD, because the 14 container gantry cranes for seaborne handling, the 52 portal cranes in the container block storage facility and the four rail gantry cranes are already powered by green electricity.

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The use of battery-powered tractor units is currently being tested at CTA. The complete electrification of the tractor unit fleet at CTA is also intended.

The last processes at CTA that still result in CO2 emissions are offset with compensation certificates. With these certificates, HHLA supports climate-friendly projects that are certified according to the highest Gold Standard of Voluntary Emission Reductions (VER). The aim is to continuously reduce the share of compensation.

To achieve this, HHLA focuses on collaboration with its partners to develop technically innovative solutions. The conversion of the AGV fleet at CTA was supported by Hamburg’s Ministry for Environment, Climate, Energy and Agriculture using funds from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the “Energiewende in Unternehmen” research project. The goal was the reduction of CO2 emissions by increasing the use of fluctuating renewable energies and improving the efficiency of the energy supply.