Netherlands starts construction of national hydrogen network

The King of the Netherlands Willem-Alexander has performed the official ceremony to start work on the construction of a national hydrogen network in the Netherlands.

Courtesy of Gasunie

The ceremony took place on Friday, October 27, 2023, on the building site of Gasunie subsidiary Hynetwork Services in the port of Rotterdam, where the contractor Visser & Smit Hanab will build the first section of the network.

According to Gasunie, King Willem-Alexander was also treated to a tour of the building after which the King engaged with several of the parties about the transition of businesses towards sustainability, the role of hydrogen in a sustainable energy system, hydrogen transport and hydrogen import options.

From 2030, the national hydrogen network, which is estimated to cost around €1.5 billion to build, is expected to connect the Netherlands’ major industrial areas to each other and to Germany and Belgium. The Dutch Government commissioned Gasunie in 2022 to develop the network.

Sustainable, zero-emission equipment will be used for the construction, Gasunie said, adding that the company will also use solutions such as HyTap, a technology said to make it possible to safely connect end-users to the hydrogen pipelines.

The first section of the hydrogen network, a stretch of over 30 kilometres, will be built in Rotterdam and will connect the Tweede Maasvlakte industrial park to Pernis. It is expected to be operational in 2025.

Ultimately, the national network will span 1,200 kilometres and consist largely of repurposed existing natural gas pipelines. It will be linked to large-scale hydrogen production facilities, import terminals at seaports and companies in the Netherlands and abroad that will be switching to hydrogen to make their operations more sustainable, Gasunie noted.

Han Fennema, CEO of Gasunie, stated: “Today marks the start of construction of the Dutch hydrogen network, and this fills us with great pride. It is a new milestone in the transition to a more sustainable energy supply in the Netherlands and North-Western Europe.”

Rob Jetten, Minister for Climate and Energy Policy, commented: “The start of construction of the hydrogen network today is an important milestone. The Netherlands has high hydrogen ambitions: hydrogen is an ideal solution for making our industry more sustainable and offers economic opportunities for the Netherlands as a key hub in North-Western Europe. This national network is essential for achieving those ambitions, and I am proud that we are the first country to start building a national network.”

To remind, energy infrastructure company Gasunie took the investment decision for the first part of the Dutch national hydrogen network in June 2023.