Rotterdam is exploring the potential of becoming a major hub for the production, uptake and trading of hydrogen following a report that revealed its impact on reducing CO2 emissions.
A feasibility study carried out by 16 companies and organisations, under the guidance of Deltalinqs, revealed that the large-scale production and utilisation of blue hydrogen will allow local industry in Rotterdam to substantially reduce its CO2 emissions before 2030.
The H-vision project is focused on the production of hydrogen using natural gas and refinery fuel gas. The CO2 that is released during production will be captured and stored in depleted gas fields under the North Sea. The blue hydrogen obtained by these means can be used as a low-carbon energy carrier in industrial processes in order to generate high temperatures or to produce electricity.
The feasibility study found that H-vision is able to realise a substantial CO2 reduction in the short term. Savings will increase from 2.2 million tonnes in 2026 up to 4.3 million tonnes in 2031. When considered in relation to the total CO2 emissions of Rotterdam’s industrial sector in 2018, the adoption of blue hydrogen as an energy carrier for industrial purposes will result in an emission reduction of 16%.
Based on current insights, the construction of the H-vision hydrogen installations in the reference case will involve an investment of €1.3 billion. Including the required infrastructure and technical adaptations at the industrial users’ end, the total investment is estimated to be around €2 billion.
Deltalinqs chairman Steven Lak says that H-vision is an important step for Rotterdam and the Netherlands.
‘Industry has taken the lead when it comes to developing a practical solution that allows us to dramatically cut back on CO2 emissions in the short term. The hydrogen chain and the associated infrastructure for H-vision will make it easier to incorporate green hydrogen in the system over time. This means that H-vision offers two important benefits; reducing CO2 emissions in the short term and accelerating the energy transition by paving the way for future green hydrogen economy.’
H-vision is now conferring with the government about regulations, risk hedging and financial support. The measures in the climate accord with also play an important role in this.
The finalisation of an investment decision could be reached as early as 2021.