Kobe-Osaka International Port Launches Demonstration of Advanced Cargo Handling Machinery at Hanshin Port Container Terminal

<The rubber-tired gantry crane (RTG) at Kobe International Container Terminal (KICT)>

February 07, 2024 Kobe-Osaka International Port Corporation (President: Takafumi Kido) today announced that it is commissioned a Demonstration Project for Advanced Cargo Handling Machinery at the Hanshin Port” (Note 1) from The Kinki Regional Development Bureau of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. It will demonstrate the operation of hydrogen-fueled cargo handling machinery, which is the first in the world to convert a rubber tired gantry (RTG) crane’s diesel engine generator to a hydrogen engine generator, at Kobe International Container Terminal (KICT), operated by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL; President & CEO: Takeshi Hashimoto; Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo).

<Map of the KICT at the Port of Kobe>

Kobe-Osaka International Port will work to ensure the smooth, safe introduction of hydrogen energy, with on-site demonstrations of decarbonized port operations, in conjunction with Shosen Koun Co., Ltd. (President: Kenji Jitsu), which owns RTGs as the operator of KICT; Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. (President and CEO: Takeyuki Takahashi), a manufacturer of RTGs; iLabo Co., Ltd. (Representative Director: Nobuhiro Ota), a hydrogen engine manufacturer; Iwatani Corporation (President: Hiroshi Majima), which is responsible for hydrogen supply, transport, and fueling; and Universal Energy Laboratory Corporation (President: Takeshi Kaneda), a consulting company.

<Images of the conversion of a rubber tired gantry (RTG) crane to a hydrogen engine (top) and the supply and filling of hydrogen (bottom) in the demonstration project>

The implementation structure is as illustrated below.

Expectations for hydrogen as a clean energy source are growing around the world as it moves toward the realization of a decarbonized society. In Japan’s ports and waterfront areas, the development of carbon neutral ports (CNPs) is being pursued to upgrade port functions for decarbonization and to improve the environment for the adoption of hydrogen and other clean alternative fuels. Efforts are underway to develop technologies for cargo handling machinery using hydrogen as an energy source, among others. This demonstration project is the first in the world to convert an RTG’s diesel engine generator to a hydrogen engine generator.

The companies participating in this project will proactively engage in the conversion of cargo handling machinery to hydrogen fuel and electrification to realize a CNP at the Port of Hanshin.

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