Hamburg tackles the ‘smartPORT’ challenge

The port of Hamburg is embracing the 'smartPORT' challenge
The port of Hamburg is embracing the 'smartPORT' challenge
HPA is looking to make Hamburg the ultimate smartPORT
HPA is looking to make Hamburg the ultimate smartPORT
Industry Database

In a bid to balance economy and ecology, Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) is continuing its quest for smartPORT energy and smartPORT logistics through a series of sustainable projects, writes Rachael Doyle.

With the aim of making Hamburg the ultimate ‘smartPORT’, HPA started working with the State Ministry of Economic Affairs, Transport and Innovation, and the State Ministry of Urban Development and Environment to develop the ‘smartPORT energy’ concept a few years ago.

Speaking at the 29th annual IAPH Conference taking place in Hamburg this week, Frank Horch, Minister of Economy, Transport and Innovation in Hamburg, explained: “We constantly have to reinvent ourselves and develop with an eye to the future. SmartPORT energy concept combines numerous viable solutions for making the port less dependent on conventionally-generated electricity by switching to renewables – increasing energy efficiency and promoting environmentally-friendly and innovative mobility.”

Hamburg’s aim is to maintain and boost its competitiveness through the application of around 40 projects implemented over the past two years, which Manfred Lebmeier, head of environmental strategy, HPA, told GreenPort means the port saves 40,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year.

“There was an energy turnaround about three or four years ago; Hamburg’s air quality was poor so we wanted to do something about the pollution and so the ‘smart’ concept began,” Mr Lebmeier said to GP.

There are three pillars the port uses to support its ‘green’ operations and to reduce air emissions to support improved air quality – renewable energy, energy efficiency and mobility.

“It was a new step forward for these authorities; working together to demonstrate the viability of environmentally-friendly projects,” he added.

Energy efficiency

HPA has already implemented modern energy technologies like wind power plants – of which there are already two in the port area with five more in the pipeline – LED bulbs and solar panelled roofs. The port authority has also looked at biomass energy potential since the port has excess biomass, but its own bio gas plant was not economically viable.

When it comes to energy efficiency, port-based companies at the port account for more than 40% of Hamburg’s energy costs, so the port has a funding and support programme to help these companies implement energy-saving measures and install energy management systems to help achieve its goals of reducing carbon emissions by 12,000 tonnes.

The port has also just introduced shore-side power for AIDA cruise vessels which is being supplied by the Becker Marine Systems HUMMEL barge. Next year will see Bomin Linde build a small-scale LNG terminal to encourage LNG as an alternative fuel.

“We’ve changed a lot over the past two years and we hope to encourage companies and the industry to become ‘smart’ too,” Mr Lebmeier told GP.

Elsewhere, the port employs various smart logistics projects using the latest IT technology which help reduce waiting times, congestion and in turn, help to reduce emissions and boost efficiency overall.

“We are continuing our smartPORT projects but still have space for more ‘smart’ solutions in the future. It’s good to be green but it’s better to be green and successful,” Mr Lebmeier concluded.

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