The Port of Rotterdam and the government of the state of Western Australia (WA) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to investigate setting up a renewable hydrogen export chain.
The MoU covers the production, storage, transport and the use of renewable hydrogen. The two parties will also work together to share knowledge on policy, regulation and technology developments.
The Port of Rotterdam is keen to position itself as a major hydrogen import hub for Europe, plans reinforced by the Dutch government’s national hydrogen strategy. In August 2021, it joined forces with Koole Terminals, Chiyoda Corporation and Mitsubishi Corporation to carry out a feasibility study into commercial-scale hydrogen imports.
According to Allard Castelein, Port of Rotterdam CEO, 13% of the EU’s energy needs currently passes through the port, and this energy will shift to green energy. By 2050, the port estimates that it will handle 20 million tonnes of hydrogen annually, 90% of which will be imports.
‘Although the distance between Australia and Europe may seem far, the excellent local conditions such as the amount of sunshine, wind, availability of space and investment climate in Western Australia can lead to a competitive hydrogen product delivered to the Northwest European market,’ he says. ‘This new energy from ‘down under’, distributed via Rotterdam’s terminals and hydrogen backbone, could further help decarbonise Europe’s industries and society as a whole. This is important to both stop climate change as well as for the long-term sustainability of businesses and the economy.’
WA hydrogen industry minister Alannah MacTiernan adds: ‘We have already committed A$160 million [€101 million) to support the development of a renewable hydrogen industry in Western Australia, including the A$117.5 million announced last week to attract federal funding for renewable hydrogen hubs in the Pilbara and Mid-West. Through this MoU we will gain a better understanding of the hydrogen export supply chain between Western Australia and the Port of Rotterdam, and what we need to do to make sure the state is an exporter of choice for Europe.’
(Source: Tank Storage Magazine)