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Hydrogen Could Be a Big Step in Reducing Emissions in Port of Rotterdam

Two hydrogen plants on the Maasvlakte can drastically reduce CO2 emissions in the port of Rotterdam. The plants, including the required infrastructure, will cost about two billion euros. This is the result of a feasibility study carried out by sixteen organisations united in the H-vision project.

The study shows that CO2 emissions can be reduced considerably by 2030 with the aid of large-scale hydrogen production. Compared to the total CO2 emissions of industry in 2018 (26.4 million tonnes), the use of hydrogen in Rotterdam will lead to an emission reduction of sixteen per cent. The study was led by Dutch NGO Deltalinqs (an organisation that promotes common interests of logistics, ports and industrial enterprises in mainport Rotterdam) and included participants such as Shell, BP and TNO. 

Step-up to Green Hydrogen

The main focus of the H-vision programme is on the production of hydrogen using natural gas and refinery fuel gas, so-called blue hydrogen. The CO2 that is released during production will be captured and stored in depleted gas fields under the North Sea. The hydrogen obtained can subsequently be used as a low-carbon energy carrier in industrial processes in order to generate high temperatures or to produce electricity.

As such, H-vision anticipates the arrival of green hydrogen, which is produced via electrolysis using power sourced from renewable sources like offshore wind farms. This variant of hydrogen generates zero CO2 in its production. However, at this point, there is not enough green electricity to produce green hydrogen on an industrial scale.

The finalisation of an investment decision could be reached as early as 2021. In this planning, the first installation will start supplying industrial parties in Rotterdam with hydrogen in early 2026.

Author: Mariska Buitendijk

Mariska Buitendijk is one of SWZ|Maritime's journalists as well as the magazine's copy editor.

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