Photo: SELF. Courtesy of Valenciaport

Valencia port to host autonomous container transport system

The Port Authority of Valencia (APV) has approved the concession of land for the installation of the prototype of the Sustainable Electric Freight-forwarder (SELF) autonomous container transport system in the Port of Sagunto.

The SELF, developed by Zeleros, the Valencia-based company developing a hyperloop transport system, is aimed at decarbonising and automating container movements between terminals.

As described, the system consists of vehicles guided and propelled by the rails where the linear motor is installed. The motor is 100% electric and can be operated in a fully automated way, reducing emissions and improving the efficiency of port operations.

The technology has been developed together with the Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas (CIEMAT). CIEMAT and the Polish company Magneto, specialised in the manufacture of electrical steels, are also taking part in this project.

David Pistoni, co-founder and CEO at ZELEROS, said: “Hyperloop technologies are also applicable to other sectors, such as the port sector, and with this pioneering pilot we will demonstrate and optimise the SELF system, accelerating the path towards its commercialisation that will allow its implementation in ports all over the world.”

The project is aligned with the EU Sustainable Development Goals, paving the way for building a low-carbon future and more sustainable port mobility and operations.

It is supported by the European Eureka-Eurostars program and is co-funded by the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI) and the Polish National Research and Development Centre (NBCR).

Aurelio Martínez, president of the APV added: “The concession of this space to the Valencian start-up Zeleros reaffirms Valenciaport’s commitment to innovation. Ports are spaces of innovation that host innovative experiences such as Zeleros; this is how progress is made towards increasingly sustainable, efficient and safe operations. And of course, with this project, the Port of Sagunt is sending out a clear message of identifying itself as an industrial and innovative enclave of reference in the Mediterranean for future generations.”

Last year, the port authority reported that the traffic at the Port of Valencia between January and November 2021 had exceeded 77 million tonnes or 5.16 million TEUs which brought the port back to pre-pandemic levels.

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