In the port of Rotterdam, the first companies are already preparing for the storage, processing and transit of hydrogen, according to a study conducted by the Port Authority into the development of hydrogen import terminals in Rotterdam. The Port Authority held consultations with a large number of Rotterdam-based companies and asked several research agencies to carry out sub-studies into the necessary preconditions in the fields of navigation, safety, the environment and space.
The four terminals that could be operational by 2025 for the transhipment of hydrogen are spread throughout the port area. The hydrogen will be in various forms: liquid hydrogen or packaged in ammonia or methanol or specially developed hydrogen carriers, known as Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carriers (LOHC).
The import terminals will be connected to the central hydrogen pipeline HyTransPort.RTM, which will then transport hydrogen to the end users. Initially, these will mainly be industrial users in Rotterdam, but fairly soon it will also be possible to supply industry in Chemelot and North Rhine-Westphalia, as well as other parts of the Netherlands. For these inland destinations, preparations for the laying of the Delta Corridor pipeline bundle and a link to the national hydrogen grid are underway.
Among the findings of the report:
According to current expectations, the production of green hydrogen in Rotterdam will rise from 115 kilotonnes in 2025 to 195 kilotonnes by 2030. On top of this, imports of 200 kilotonnes are expected by 2025 and 400 kilotonnes by 2030, with an upward potential of 1,300 kilotonnes, according to the National Hydrogen Program’s forecasts. In terms of volume, imports will rapidly outstrip local production.
By 2050, demand for hydrogen is expected to increase to 20 Mtonnes, around 18 Mtonnes of which will be imported.
Rotterdam is already familiar with hydrogen in industry and the transhipment of hydrogen carriers such as ammonia. In addition, the port has experience in the transhipment of cold energy carriers such as LNG and chemicals such as methanol. This experience can be applied to the new forms of hydrogen that are anticipated: liquid hydrogen, ammonia and LOHCs. Rotterdam’s extensive, existing tank storage and infrastructure for hydrogen and hydrogen carriers add to the port’s appeal as an import location. Companies will be able to develop existing fossil energy assets for hydrogen and hydrogen carriers.
All port areas—from Pernis to Maasvlakte 2—have the potential to import hydrogen. Depending on the volumes, the import of hydrogen is possible in all of these port areas, both in terms of space and safety, and from an environmental and navigational point of view. Four companies working in refining, energy and tank storage are actively preparing to import hydrogen. It looks like they will have both the physical space and the licences to import, process and export hydrogen in various forms by 2025. In addition, several companies are preparing to free up physical and/or environmental space by restructuring their existing product portfolio.
The unique navigational access means there are no restrictions to the safe shipment of hydrogen in Rotterdam.