Photo: Port of Rotterdam; Image by Offshore Energy

Port of Rotterdam looking into potential of new trade corridors for hydrogen

The Port of Rotterdam, Europe’s leading trading hub, has become part of a feasibility study named HySupply to explore what role could the port play in the possible creation of a new trade corridor for hydrogen.

The project is led by Germany, which is investing heavily in hydrogen, and it is focusing on the possibilities and conditions under which hydrogen from renewable sources could be supplied from Australia to Germany.

The HySupply study is expected to take two years to complete. Apart from the study itself, a roadmap for implementation will also be developed during that period and intensive dialogue will take place between German and Australian stakeholders also at the government level.

Rotterdam Port Authority is working with various partners towards the introduction of a large-scale hydrogen network across the port complex, making Rotterdam an international hub for hydrogen production, import, application and transport to other countries in Northwest Europe.

By becoming a hydrogen transport hub the port aims to maintain its position as important energy port for Northwest Europe in the future.

The necessary infrastructure will include import terminals and pipelines, as well as a conversion park for the production of green hydrogen from offshore wind energy with electrolysis.

Nouryon, BP and the port authority have already teamed up on H2-Fifty project on the development of a 250 MW electrolyzer. Furthermore, Shell is planning a 150-250 MW electrolyzer for the conversion park. Both projects are set for becoming operational in 2023.

The port wants to have import terminals and pipelines to Chemelot and North Rhine-Westphalia operational in 2030.

Hydrogen is gaining in popularity among global governments and energy companies as the pillar for decarbonizing heavy emitting industries.

The European Union wants to become climate-neutral by 2050, which will require a complete transformation of its energy system which accounts for 75% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions.

For industries that would be difficult to electrify, the strategy promotes the use of clean fuel, where renewable hydrogen plays a central role.

It is a clean burning fuel that can be produced in several ways, including using renewable energy produced from solar, wind, and hydro.

Green hydrogen delivers a high energy density fuel source that does not emit CO2 or greenhouse emissions during consumption.

It is expected to be applied in numerous heavy emission sectors, including power generation, petrochemical, long-haul transport (road and marine), steel, cement, and fertilizer.

Australia aims to tap into the potential of this switch by becoming a major player in the hydrogen industry by 2030 in line with its National Hydrogen Strategy.

The strategy, launched in 2019, outlines a set of nationally coordinated actions aimed at establishing ‘Hydrogen Hubs’ for production and export to the country’s major energy trading partners across the Asia Pacific region and other regions.

Australia said that it has the necessary natural resources to produce green hydrogen and there are several projects under way across several states and territories to produce and implement hydrogen into their supply chains.