Port of Rotterdam boosts hydrogen economy with new infrastructure

The hydrogen economy is quickly gathering momentum after Shell announced its plans to take a green hydrogen plant into operation as early as 2023. This plant will be constructed at Maasvlakte 2. From here, the produced hydrogen will be transported via a pipeline to Shell’s refinery in Pernis. Gasunie and the Port of Rotterdam Authority intend to realise the new pipeline in a joint venture

The green hydrogen plant and the pipeline are part of a series of projects associated with the production, import, use and transfer of hydrogen in which the Port Authority is working together with a variety of partners. These concrete projects seamlessly tie in with the hydrogen outlook recently published by the Dutch government.

Hydrogen is the energy of the 21st century. With hydrogen we ensure that the port of Rotterdam remains an important pillar of the Dutch economy.

Press photo CEO Allard Castelein_2 Allard Castelein, CEO, Port of Rotterdam Authority

Allard Castelein, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority: ‘We are currently expediting our plans to construct a public hydrogen network in the port area. The work on this backbone for Rotterdam’s industrial sector will be rounded off concurrently with Shell’s electrolyser. A main transport network like this can be used to connect producers and users. This in turn helps to create a market and boosts the production and consumption of hydrogen. Besides accommodating production, in the longer term Rotterdam will also play a crucial part in the import of hydrogen thanks to the realisation of multiple hydrogen terminals. Hydrogen promises to become the energy carrier of the 21st century. In Northwest Europe, we will not be able to produce sufficient hydrogen locally, meaning that a large volume will need to be imported. Rotterdam will play a central role in this process – similar to its current role in the oil sector. This allows us to reinforce the port of Rotterdam’s position as an important pillar of the Dutch economy.”

Hydrogen pipeline

The Port Authority and Gasunie plan to jointly construct and operate the hydrogen pipeline, which will run parallel with the A15 motorway between Maasvlakte and Pernis. The parties plan to take the definite decision to greenlight construction in the first half of 2021. In the near future, Rotterdam’s hydrogen pipeline will be hooked up to the national hydrogen network developed by Gasunie.

Shell will be constructing its hydrogen plant at a dedicated industrial site realised by the Port Authority at Maasvlakte for electrolysers operated by various companies. Another project planned at this site is H2-Fifty (the construction of a 250 MW electrolyser operated by BP and Nouryon). This facility is expected to become operational in 2025. Situated on the coast of the North Sea, this special industrial site (named a ‘conversion farm’) uses offshore wind power to produce hydrogen. The hydrogen produced at the plant will be transported to users via a pipeline.

Blue and green . . . .

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