Port of Amsterdam, partners push ahead with plans for large-scale hydrogen import facilities

The Port of Amsterdam has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with tank storage company Evos and liquid organic hydrogen carriers (LOHC) pioneer Hydrogenious to develop large-scale import facilities for hydrogen at the port of Amsterdam.

Image by the Port of Amsterdam

The facilities will comprise a LOHC dehydrogenation plant with a final release capacity of up to 100-500 tonnes of hydrogen per day as well as related storage and handling facilities. All three parties are founding members of the H2A platform which focuses on the development of supply chains for green hydrogen imports through the port of Amsterdam.  

“The location of the port of Amsterdam and the companies operating here and in the wider North Sea Canal Area, make our port ideally suited for such a terminal and plant. This region also offers large potential for offtake, with our connection to Schiphol Airport and the presence of large industrial clusters,” Koen Overtoom, CEO Port of Amsterdam, said.

“Additionally, we collaborate with duisport to facilitate the distribution of hydrogen to the German and European hinterland, further increasing the offtake potential. We are thrilled about this new, key step, which will strengthen the position of the port of Amsterdam as a hydrogen hub, for import, storage, trans-shipment and distribution to the wider hinterland.”  

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The next phase of this initiative be exploring the spatial, infrastructural, and financial requirements to establish the terminal over the next years. The objective is to have the first plants for delivery of hydrogen to local off-takers in operation before 2028, with the potential of further upscale. In total, the handled LOHC volumes are expected to be at least 1 million tons per annum.

The move to put Hydrogenious’ LOHC technology into action follows on the back of a feasibility study on different liquid hydrogen carriers. This study confirmed that LOHC technology is a compelling solution for use in the port of Amsterdam, compatible with the existing infrastructure.

According to the port authority, the Evos Amsterdam terminals need only relatively minor modifications to store and distribute LOHC in the port and beyond  making the project a cost-effective solution.

“We see a promising future in LOHC technology as it is intrinsically safe and fits with the port’s existing logistic infrastructure. We operate two large tank terminals that are perfectly suited for the storage and handling of LOHC. We are delighted to have teamed up with two exceptionally strong partners and look forward to working on concrete next steps,” Evos Amsterdam, Ramon Ernst, Managing Director, said.

The liquid organic hydrogen carrier used by Hydrogenious, thermal oil benzyl toluene (LOHC-BT), is already used in the industry as a heat transfer medium and can be used for safe handling in ports.

As informed, due to its characteristics as a flame retardant and non-explosive carrier with a high volumetric energy density, benzyl toluene can be handled like a fossil liquid fuel within existing infrastructure, at ambient pressure and temperature. After dehydrogenation, it can be reused many hundreds of times to bind hydrogen.

This project developers believe that this unique project is a key step in the development of pan-European hydrogen value chains connected to the port of Amsterdam, which will also contribute to accelerating the decarbonisation of European industries.  

“In order to realize Europe’s ambitious plans to import 10 Mio. tons of hydrogen already in 2030, we need to make use of existing infrastructure. Therefore, the H2A consortium has focused on LOHC technology that can rely on existing oil handling and storage capacities and significantly reduces potential risks of handling molecular hydrogen or other derivatives,” Hydrogenious LOHC funder and CEO, Dr Daniel Teichmann, said.

“For a port and industrial region like the Port of Amsterdam, that is located very closely to the city, this is of paramount importance. The build-up of LOHC-based supply chains will also facilitate the transport of hydrogen to the ‘hinterland’ and to Germany. Besides the development of import projects, H2A will also provide political and regulatory support to technology companies and project developers at the location, as well as structured access to funding.”