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26 Jan 2024

A consortium of four Scottish renewable and maritime companies have been awarded a UK Government Department for Transport grant of over £535,000 to develop an innovative UK-first approach that will use clean, green hydrogen energy to reduce carbon emissions from vessels when berthed in port.

Supported by Forth Ports, the highly innovative trial will see the large tugs operating out of The Port of Leith powered by green hydrogen when tied up. The green hydrogen will be produced from treated wastewater from a nearby water treatment works, without compromising local water supplies.

The year-long trial, run by partners Forth Ports, Waterwhelm, Logan Energy and PlusZero, will deliver a state-of-the-art demonstrator system for green hydrogen shore power which marine vessels can use when they are berthed, removing the need for the diesel-powered systems which are currently in use on some quaysides.


The project draws together leading Scottish innovation and technology with sustainability expertise from the water, energy and transport sectors, and will be the first of its kind to be demonstrated at a UK port - leading the way for a circular economy approach to port decarbonisation across the country. The project will act as a precursor to the deployment of green hydrogen in shore power supply to large ships and vessels, addressing an important challenge in decarbonising the maritime industry, particularly in remote locations or areas where a connection to the main electricity grid is not available.


Alasdair Smith, Commercial Director of Targe Towing, part of the Forth Ports group, said:


“This is an exciting project for Forth Ports and Targe Towing as we work towards our commitment to reduce carbon emissions across Forth Ports group operations by 2032, and becoming net zero by 2042.


“Our tug fleet currently uses diesel-powered generators to provide electricity when tied up in port. This new green hydrogen system shows how tugs or other vessels can be completely emission-free whilst berthed.


“The project will also serve to widen our knowledge and experience of working with hydrogen, which provides a foundation for future endeavours towards a net zero future. We look forward to starting this project with our partners in the Spring.”


Using specialist water treatment technology provided by Waterwhelm, fresh re-use water will be made from wastewater from the treatment works site in Seafield, Edinburgh, which will then be used to produce hydrogen at Leith Port.


Waterwhelm’s leading technology enables water re-use and desalination processes to operate at significantly lower pressure, providing lower maintenance benefits as well as a world-beating reduction in electricity consumption and carbon emissions.


Dr Richard Wood, Research and Developer Manager and Engineer from Waterwhelm said:


“Following a successful feasibility study, we are delighted to be partnering with Forth Ports, Logan Energy and PlusZero to deliver a combined state-of-the-art demonstrator system at the Port of Leith for the production, storage and utilisation of green hydrogen to supply green shore power.


“Waterwhelm’s system will utilise waste heat and wastewater to produce re-use water for electrolysis - a new, innovative approach which is much needed to support the drive towards decarbonisation whilst reducing the upcoming demand on local water networks.”


Green hydrogen specialist partners Logan Energy and PlusZero will apply their expertise to bring the clean power solution to the port - a significant collaboration that highlights major strides in Scottish hydrogen innovation.


Using a process known as electrolysis, East Lothian-based Logan Energy’s electrolyser technology will split the re-use water into oxygen and hydrogen.

The hydrogen will then be used as a clean fuel for PlusZero’s combustion engine which will generate green electricity to provide shore power for the tug boats when they are in port, replacing the need for polluting diesel generators.


Bill Ireland, Chief Executive Officer of Logan Energy said:


“Hydrogen-based solutions can play a pivotal role in decarbonisation and achieving net-zero targets both in the UK and globally.  We’re honoured to be part of this consortium that can develop one such application where our innovative solutions can benefit UK industry.


“Logan Energy’s fully integrated system approach will take green energy and Waterwhelm’s clean water supply and produce, compress, and store hydrogen for the purpose of powering PlusZero’s equipment, without producing any emissions.  This will be a key demonstration within the marine sector that can be easily replicated elsewhere.”

David Amos, Managing Director at PlusZero said:


“There is a huge amount of momentum behind hydrogen as an accelerator to the global energy transition. PlusZero’s ready-to-go clean power solution replaces the need for polluting diesel generators across multiple sectors of the economy - construction, events and production, and the industrial sectors.


“We are delighted to be demonstrating the true promise of this technology alongside our partners and Forth Ports, a company which is already leading the way in making Scotland’s renewables future a reality.”

The project is part of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition Round 4 (CMDC4), funded by the UK Department for Transport (DfT) and delivered by Innovate UK. CMDC4 is part of the Department’s UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions (UK SHORE) programme, a £206m initiative focused on developing the technology necessary to decarbonise the UK domestic maritime sector.


The UK Government Department for Transport Maritime Minister Lord Davies said:


“Unlocking a sustainable maritime sector and the economic growth it provides relies on cutting edge technology to propel it to the next level. The voyage to sustainability demands bold investments to not just deliver greener shipping but highly skilled jobs across the UK.


"Transformative solutions can help shape the future landscape of the maritime industry and support jobs in coastal communities."


Notes to editors:


  1. An image can be downloaded here and shows the Craigleith tug at the Port of Leith, which will use clean, green hydrogen power when berthed in port. 

  2. Media enquiries

    1. For media enquiries relating to Forth Ports and Targe Towing, please contact Debbie Johnston - 07532 183811 /

    2. For media enquiries relating to PlusZero, please contact Clare Slipper - 07908781331 /

    3. For media enquiries relating to Logan Energy, please contact Paul Gill - 0131 385 0853 or 

    4. For media enquiries relating to Waterwhelm, please contact Dr Richard Wood - 07554295184 /


About UK SHORE programme

In March 2022, the UK Government announced the biggest government investment ever in our UK commercial maritime sector, allocating £206m to UK SHORE, a new programme within the Department for Transport focused on decarbonising the maritime sector. UK SHORE is delivering a suite of interventions throughout 2022-2025 aimed at accelerating the design, manufacture and operation of UK-made clean maritime technologies and unlocking an industry-led transition to Net Zero.

The UK SHORE programme includes the flagship multi-year Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (CMDC) which provides match-funding to help bring pre-commercial technologies closer to market readiness. CMDC4 allocated £33m to 33 projects across the UK to deliver demonstrations, pre-deployment trials and feasibility studies between April 2024 – March 2025. The projects are supported by over 120 partners and will leverage more than £16m of private investment.

CMDC4 follows the successful first three rounds of the CMDC, which allocated over £95m to 105 projects. CMDC1 was launched in 2021, prior to UK SHORE.


About Forth Ports 

Forth Ports Limited owns and operates eight commercial ports in the UK – Tilbury on the Thames, Dundee on the Firth of Tay and six on the Firth of Forth – Leith, Grangemouth, Rosyth, Methil, Burntisland and Kirkcaldy.

Within and around the Firths of Forth and Tay, Forth Ports manages and operates an area of 280 square miles of navigable waters, including two specialised marine terminals for oil and gas export and provides other marine services, such as towage and conservancy.


*Forth Ports is part of consortia behind the Thames Freeport and Forth Green Freeport, which are seeking to accelerate the growth of the Net Zero economy.  The latter was successfully shortlisted by the Scottish and UK Governments in January 2023. The proposals are targeting clean growth, high-value manufacturing and processing across a number of the Group's assets including the ports of Burntisland, Leith, Grangemouth and Rosyth among other industrial locations along the Forth Estuary. For more information go to 



About Targe Towing 

Targe Towing operates tugs out of ports on the East of Scotland, providing dedicated towage to Aberdeen, Dundee, Montrose and Peterhead. On the Firth of Forth, Targe Towing operates tugs at the Hound Point marine terminal, the Braefoot gas terminal and in the ports of Leith, Rosyth and Grangemouth, often undertaking specialist towage projects, with tugs regularly working in ports across the UK.


About Waterwhelm

Waterwhelm is a company based at a wastewater treatment works site in Edinburgh. Their technology provides a circular economy approach to freshwater production by using waste heat and wastewater. The product water can then be used by the site in its treatment process.


This reduces dependency on local water networks, and gives greater water availability to the local community in times of climate change uncertainty and water scarcity. It offsets the carbon emissions associated with producing and supplying freshwater to the site, maximises supplied water resources, increases site self-sufficiency, and reduces operational costs.


Through CMDC4, this approach will now be applied to the Port of Leith, where Waterwhelm will supply re-use water for hydrogen production. This highly efficient use of waste resources will lead the way to decarbonisation at ports whilst also serving as a blueprint for interconnectivity of the hydrogen industry and the water industry across the UK. 


About Logan Energy

Logan Energy has over 25 years’ experience and a proven track record in delivering projects and solutions in the low carbon, renewable energy, and hydrogen sectors. Based in Scotland and the Netherlands, we specialise in the delivery of integrated engineering solutions incorporating hydrogen technologies, including hydrogen production, refuelling, storage, distribution, and stationary, mobile, and on-vehicle fuel cell electricity and heat generation.


We offer a full turnkey service from project inception & feasibility, design development, manufacturing, installation, and operation and maintenance.


We have not only undertaken options appraisals and feasibility studies to identify viable solutions for both cost-effective hydrogen production and use but have then deployed these proposals, which has provided invaluable feedback into the design and feasibility process. 


We are manufacturer independent and able to analyse and select any appropriate equipment based on our proven experience in delivering hydrogen energy and technology projects. Operating from our Wallyford base in the UK, we have a growing team of qualified engineers and experienced commercial professionals who are used to delivering optimally sized hydrogen systems to maximise future return on investment. We can rely on a trusted network of suppliers of proven equipment, which allows us to design, procure, and offer reliable integrated systems.

Logan Energy – delivering innovation and integration in all things hydrogen. 

About PlusZero Ltd

PlusZero is transforming the clean energy sector – the driver for new economic growth worldwide. Its Green Hydrogen from the Western Isles provides a carbon-zero, pollution-free source of fuel for the 21st century.

PlusZero Energy uses surplus electricity produced by local renewable wind power to split water into hydrogen and oxygen using a process called electrolysis. This captures renewable energy that would otherwise be lost (as the sun doesn’t always shine or wind always blow) – unlocking the full promise of renewable energy.

PlusZero Power then uses this Green Hydrogen to fuel hydrogen combustion engines, giving customers clean power wherever they need it. PlusZero Power has been powering outdoor events since early 2021 and is increasing its hydrogen generator range to meet the varied demand for clean portable power in the events, outdoor filming, construction and industrial sectors.

The company’s expert team and extensive networks of hydrogen and engineering specialists give it unparalleled insight into fast-evolving hydrogen technologies. Collaboration is central to PlusZero’s strategic approach. It works together with public sector, community, and business partners in the Western Isles, the UK, and beyond to secure direct community and environmental benefits – above all, clean energy.

PlusZero - a community-based solution for a global market.


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