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The ‘favourable geography, significant latent demand, and untapped renewable energy potential in Alaska’ could make hydrogen bunkering at the Aleutian Islands ports a ‘unique opportunity for investment’, according to new report from the International Council on Clean Transportation.

In a statement sent to Bunkerspot yesterday (22 June), the ICCT explained that for the past few years it has been investigating the potential for liquid hydrogen (LH2) made from renewable electricity to power transpacific container shipping. Most recently, the NGO estimated that container shipping could generate demand for over 730,000 tonnes of LH2 per year at Pacific ports. Now, the new paper published yesterday (22 June) builds on that work by considering the role that Aleutian Islands ports in Alaska could play.

The report’s authors - Elise Georgeff, Xiaoli Mao and Dan Rutherford - looked at both the ‘latent demand’ from the existing fleet that already calls on the Port of Dutch Harbor, and also the potential extra demand from oceangoing vessels that would require an additional refuelling stop if operated on LH2.

According to the ICCT, the results show that hydrogen-powered ships could generate ‘substantial and diversified’ demand for LH2 at Aleutian Islands ports.

‘The latent demand is estimated to be about 10,000 tonnes annually, with a market value of $39 million if 2035 prices are assumed,’ said the ICCT. ‘Most of this is from fishing vessels, and findings suggest that their energy use is about one-quarter higher than previously estimated to meet hydraulic and refrigeration loads.’

Furthermore, added the ICT, under a 'mature network', medium-volume scenario where oceangoing vessels divert to Aleutian ports as part of a mature hydrogen network, the potential demand could rise to 260,000 tonnes, valued at $1 billion. An even larger market of up to $1.6 billion could be captured under a maximum ‘early mover’ case where proactive investments in LH2 bunkering infrastructure are made at Aleutian ports to lock in customers.

The ICCT maintained that these findings ‘make a strong case for federal funding to help jumpstart hydrogen bunkering at Aleutian ports’ – adding that this could be done through federal programmes like the $2.25 billion set aside for port infrastructure under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed by Congress in 2021.

Click here to download the ICCT report: Scaling US Zero-Emission Shipping: Potential Hydrogen Demand at Aleutian Islands Ports.

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