The energy company Uniper and the Port of Rotterdam Authority (PRA) have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop the production of green hydrogen at the former's site on Maasvlakte.
The plant will feature an electrolysis installation of 100 MW, upgraded to 500 MW in the future.
Energy for production will come from North Sea wind farms.
The facility will be connected to the HyTransport.RTM pipeline that runs through the Port of Rotterdam and connects the Uniper plant to the national hydrogen infrastructure and the Delta Corridor pipeline bundle. The latter project is intended for delivering hydrogen to chemical clusters in Moerdijk and Geleen (Chemelot) and farther to North Rhine-Westphalia in western Germany.
A front-end engineering & design study will be now prepared for the Uniper-Rotterdam green hydrogen project.
The parties will also soon make efforts to apply for the needed permits, seek support from authorities, and enter into agreements with others from the value chain to prepare an investment decision in 2022.
According to PRA, the production of the so-called grey hydrogen, made using gas, results in 19mt of CO2 emissions/year. Industries from the Rotterdam area consume around 40% of hydrogen in the country. "In combination with importing sustainable hydrogen, sufficient storage capacity, and a national and international hydrogen transport network this may lead to phasing out the production of grey hydrogen altogether," PRA said in this regard in a press release.
By 2050, when the Port of Rotterdam intends to be carbon-neutral, some 20mt of hydrogen are expected to pass through the port for domestic and abroad use.
PRA's CEO, Allard Castelein, underlined, "The industry has to go through a massive change in making its business processes more sustainable. Hydrogen will play a central role in this process. We are working with partners towards the introduction of a large-scale hydrogen network across the port complex, making Rotterdam an international hub for hydrogen production and import and for the transit of hydrogen to other countries in Northwestern Europe. This explains why initiatives like this Uniper project are so important for the future of Rotterdam and the Netherlands."
The Uniper green hydrogen project has been designated as an Important Project of Common European Interest, a European scheme under which countries can provide extra support.
Photo: Port of Rotterdam