Netherlands, Australia and Germany up their game with hydrogen hub project

Members of this tripartite partnership, including the Netherlands, Australia and Germany, have taken the next step to develop a joint hydrogen hub in Western Australia, known as TrHyHub.

Port of Rotterdam
Credit: Port of Rotterdam

As informed, the objective of the project is to develop a new and modern port industrial complex for large-scale hydrogen production for both local use and export. Around twenty companies from the three countries have indicated their intention to take part.

During the German minister for Research and Education’s visit to the port of Rotterdam on 13 February, the Port of Rotterdam Authority and Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) confirmed their intention for further partnership.

The Dutch and Australian ministers for Climate and Energy had already signed a partnership agreement in this area earlier this year.

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Government, industry and the German knowledge institute are now committed to combining their technology, knowledge and expertise to develop the Australian hydrogen hub and supply chain to the German hinterland.

For instance, as part of the new port, they will be exploring the possibility of the joint construction of an offshore export terminal to enable a faster start to hydrogen exports to northwest Europe. Rotterdam’s partnership initiative with the Australian port is in line with its ambition to become a hydrogen hub for northwest Europe.

Connecting hydrogen hubs

The Dutch and Australian governments have stated their ambition to cooperate in the following four areas. Fraunhofer and the Port Authority share that ambition and are committed to implementing this.

  • Hydrogen trade policy, standards and certification;
  • Port infrastructure and the development of supply chains;
  • Innovative hydrogen technology, including but not limited to transport by vessel;
  • Government policy for safety, training, regulations and social support for hydrogen.

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The Port of Rotterdam and Fraunhofer are the first to join forces on the Oakajee project, which enables imports from Western Australia.

The Oakajee Strategic Industrial Area (SIA) has the potential to become one of Australia’s or even the world’s largest hydrogen-producing areas, due to its optimal wind and solar power generation conditions, according to the partners.

This partnership to develop the hydrogen hub offers economic opportunities as well as possibilities to accelerate sustainability for the three countries involved. Industry and transport sectors can use green hydrogen to reduce their carbon emissions, which is why parties from the three countries have already reached various agreements for further cooperation.

Both the Netherlands and Germany aim to enhance the sustainability of their energy supplies and their independence from Russia.

Both countries want to accelerate the replacement of coal and oil imports, currently transported via the port of Rotterdam to large sections of Germany, with green hydrogen.

Last month, Germany has partnered with France, Portugal and Spain on the H2Med, a subsea hydrogen pipeline project. France and Germany also plan to develop a joint roadmap for hydrogen and step up investments in renewable and low-carbon energies.

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