The hydrogen Fuel Cell Reach Stacker will be tested at MSC Terminal Valencia (MSCTV), one of the three container terminals operating in the port of Valencia (Spain). MSC Terminal Valencia belongs to Mediterranean Shipping Company, the second largest shipping company in the world. It is strategically located 350 km. far from Madrid, being the most important terminal of the group in the West Mediterranean area. MSC Terminal Valencia is able to operate the biggest container ships up today (more than 20,000 TEU capacity).

This pilot of a pre-commercial Reach Stacker is aligned with Hyster-Yale’s Group strategy concerning emission reduction, which comprises the progressive evolution from their current diesel-mechanical powered to the achievement of zero emissions power solutions for large freight management equipment at seaports. The expected autonomy between refuelling and the inherent energy consumption of these large vehicles requires a considerable amount of energy to be stored on board the vehicle. The highly demanding and varied duty cycles in these intense operations make recharging time a critical factor in the operational costs of the owners. The use of hydrogen fuels cells stands out against other available technologies in these conditions, as it shows considerable autonomy and a reloading time comparable to conventional diesel.

As the first of its kind, the Reach Stacker will be able to support continuous operations while providing zero emissions and achieving comparable full shift performance to a conventional Reach Stacker powered with a diesel engine. It is expected that maintenance costs will be reduced thanks to the removal of the engine, transmission and other mechanical-driven components. In addition, noise levels will be low, and if fuelled with green hydrogen, the carbon balance can be considered as almost neutral.


The hydrogen Fuel Cell Yard Tractor will be tested at Valencia Terminal Europa (VTE), part of the Grimaldi Group, one of the most important car and ro-ro port terminals in Southern Europe. VTE handles considerable volumes of new cars and unaccompanied trailers, being specialized in the handling of rolling units and new cars, for both import and export in Spain and overseas. The automotive plants located in the region of Valencia have an approximate share of 10% of the Spanish automotive exports. In total, the ports managed by Valenciaport handled almost 12 million tonnes in rolling units, as well as 0.8 million new cars in 2018. Currently, VTE has a total operational surface area of approx. 360,000 m2.

Yard Tractors operate within the so-called ‘horizontal transport subsystem’ in port terminals, in charge of the goods transport between the berth and the yard as well as the internal circulation of goods within different operatives (land or housekeeping operatives). In the specific case of Yard Tractors operating in ro-ro terminals, an additional requirement is they must be four-wheel drive, due to the steep sloped to be climbed inside ro-ro vessels.

This machine presents important opportunities for its conversion from hybrid electric-battery power to hydrogen Fuel Cells as the needed modifications are, contrary to other machines, affordable and feasible from the financial and operational points of view. H2Ports proposes the development of a zero emission Yard Tractor where the hydrogen Fuel Cell will act as “range extender” of the current autonomy of an electric Yard Tractor. Hybrid power units will be developed by integrating batteries and Fuel Cell system. A hybrid power unit could have a smaller Fuel Cell stack and battery pack, meaning lower cost, along with a good operating range, short fuelling time, low maintenance cost and of course zero emission operation.


A Hydrogen Refuelling Station (HRS) will be developed in H2Ports project in order to guarantee the simultaneous supply of hydrogen at adequate conditions during the parallel operation of the Reach Stacker and the Yard Tractor to be tested in the project. As each of the two pilots will take place in different terminals of the port of Valencia (MSCTV and Grimaldi’s Valencia Terminal Europa) the developed HRS must be a flexible and mobile solution, especially considering that port handling equipment is not allowed to circulate outside the terminals area.

The whole HRS system will consist on two main parts. The land-based part will be dedicated to the reception of and storage of hydrogen from an external supplier and the compression of hydrogen up to the delivery pressure (450 bar). The mobile part will store the compressed hydrogen and will include a hydrogen dispenser for the refuelling of the port equipment.


In addition to the actual construction of the HRS, H2Ports will also analyse the best approach for the hydrogen supply logistics and the best strategy for refuelling, not only for port machinery but also for alternative applications. The availability of supply infrastructure in the port of Valencia will create the perfect environment for the test of potential future uses for Fuel Cells in the port maritime sector, which is aimed to be exploited not only during the testing period but also afterwards.