Ports of Rotterdam and Duisburg join forces on hydrogen

Inland port duisport and the port of Rotterdam have revealed the next step in their partnership towards the development of European hydrogen chains with a new feasibility study.

Port of Rotterdam

The study shows the combined role the two ports have to play in supporting the growing demand from the industry for hydrogen and its derivatives, and acting as a conduit between the governments, industry, and future players in the hydrogen market.

The feasibility study highlights that in North Rhine-Westphalia, a significant increase in the demand for low carbon hydrogen of more than 3 million tonnes per year is expected until 2045. The demand for methanol is also expected to increase significantly, to more than 2.5 million tonnes per year.

The ports are supported by the hydrogen initiative ‘Hy.Region.Rhein.Ruhr e.V.’, co-founded by duisport, which the port of Rotterdam has now also joined.

To meet expected demand, it will be crucial to scale up relevant infrastructure and provide suitable areas.

The study shows that the first hydrogen pipeline between the two ports should be completed by 2027 to meet the growing demand for green hydrogen in North Rhine-Westphalia in the medium term.

Hydrogen derivatives pipelines and pipelines for the export of CO2 should follow. Inland shipping and rail transport will also remain essential elements in getting the hydrogen chains up and running, and facilitating the first imports.

According to the study, several hydrogen pipelines will ultimately be needed to meet the demand in North Rhine-Westphalia and beyond.

OCI Global, the Dutch listed global leader in ammonia, methanol and hydrogen, is partnering with the ports to demonstrate that the planned hydrogen corridor between Rotterdam and duisport.

OCI Global already works with the Port of Rotterdam  on a number of decarbonization initiatives. OCI Global operates the port of Rotterdam’s only ammonia import terminal, which it is in the process of expanding to triple its throughput capacity, in anticipation of growing demand for ammonia as cleaner fuel for hard-to-abate sectors. OCI also operates a methanol import terminal.

Earlier this year, the company announced two new green methanol partnerships in the port of Rotterdam, with Unibarge to develop the world’s first dual-fueled bunker barge powered by OCI HyFuels green methanol, and with X-Press Feeder Lines to supply green methanol for their new-build methanol dual-fueled common feeder ships. 

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In July, the company completed what has been described as ‘the world’s first green methanol bunkering operation’ at the Port of Ulsan, Korea. A.P. Moller Maersk’s first green methanol-powered container ship was fuelled with 1,000 metric tonnes of OCI HyFuels ISCC-certified green methanol at Odfjell Terminal Korea (OTK). The ship was christened last week by European Commission’s president Ursula von der Leyen.

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In the port of Rotterdam, several projects have been announced for hydrogen import terminals and local hydrogen production, including the expansion of OCI Global’s ammonia terminal, and the building of a 200MW electrolyser by Shell.

Space has been reserved for several electrolysers that will produce green hydrogen from North Sea wind energy. Gasunie recently made the decision to invest in the national hydrogen network, the construction of which will start in Rotterdam.