Cepsa, ACE Terminal team up on green hydrogen supply chain

Spanish multinational energy company Cepsa has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the ACE Terminal in the Port of Rotterdam, the Netherlands to create a green hydrogen supply chain.

Image credit ACE

Namely, Cepsa is developing 2GW of green hydrogen at its two Energy Parks in Andalusia, southern Spain, as part of its 2030 Positive Motion strategy focusing on the production of renewable hydrogen and advanced biofuels. The company has two hydrogen plants, an investment worth EUR 3 billion euro, which will form part of the Andalusian Green Hydrogen Valley, the largest green hydrogen hub in Europe. Cepsa has signed a number of partnership agreements across the hydrogen value chain in relation to the green hydrogen hub.

On the import side, Gasunie, HES International, and Vopak have partnered to develop ACE Terminal as an entry point to the Netherlands for ammonia as a carrier for green hydrogen as well as a sustainable feedstock. The open-access terminal will be located on the Maasvlakte in the Port of Rotterdam and will provide for the conversion of the ammonia into hydrogen, the transshipment of the ammonia, and the onward transit of both hydrogen and ammonia to end users.

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The strategic location offers direct access from the North Sea and a connection to Rotterdam’s industry and Gasunie’s pipeline network to Northwest Europe. The terminal is expected to be ready in 2026.

The MoU with Cepsa is the first of agreements ACE has signed for green hydrogen and ammonia imports to create Europe’s largest green ammonia import terminal.

The agreement strengthens the green hydrogen corridor between the north and south of Europe and represents a significant milestone in the European strategy to decarbonize and develop renewable hydrogen and sustainable fuels.

“This MoU between Cepsa and ACE Terminal is a great example of the type of collaborations that are needed and we want to stimulate with the new Memorandum of Understanding in the field of renewable hydrogen between Spain and the Netherlands,” Rob Jetten, Dutch Minister for Climate and Energy, said.

“It constitutes a significant milestone for the European Hydrogen Strategy in developing hydrogen corridors between south and north Europe. This will enable us to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and to achieve the Dutch decarbonization and climate goals”.

This alliance makes the Green Hydrogen Corridor a tangible reality and increases the international potential of the Andalusian Green Hydrogen Valley, allowing green hydrogen produced by Cepsa in southern Spain to be used for industry and shipping in northern Europe. Partnerships like these are examples of the collaboration needed across Europe to ensure energy security without jeopardising climate targets, and the important role that Cepsa, and Spain, can and must play in this journey,” Maarten Wetselaar, CEO of Cepsa, said.

By importing green energy that can be produced competitively by Cepsa in southern Spain thanks to conditions such as ample sun, wind and land, a solid electricity grid and access to high traffic ports, the alliance helps to decarbonize industry and transport in the North and ensure energy security and affordability in Europe.

The alliance with ACE Terminal reinforces Cepsa’s agreement with the Port of Rotterdam to export hydrogen produced at its San Roque Energy Park near the Bay of Algeciras through hydrogen carriers such as ammonia, establishing the first green hydrogen corridor between southern and northern Europe and ensuring a green hydrogen supply chain between two of Europe’s main ports, Rotterdam and Algeciras.

Cepsa aims to start the first green hydrogen exports from Spain in 2027, timing that is well aligned with the ACE Terminal project timeline.