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Green hydrogen project goals to decarbonize Europe’s industrial north


In an announcement Tuesday, the Port of Rotterdam Authority’s CEO, Allard Castelein, said northwest Europe used “much more energy than it will probably produce in a sustainable way.”

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Madrid-headquartered energy firm Cepsa said it will work with the Port of Rotterdam to develop “the primary green hydrogen corridor between southern and northern Europe,” in the most recent sign of how the emerging sector is attracting interest from major corporations and organizations.

In an announcement Tuesday, Cepsa — which is involved within the exploration and production of oil and natural gas — said the project would establish “a green hydrogen supply chain” between the Port of Algeciras in southern Spain and Rotterdam, the Dutch city that is home to Europe’s largest port.

“The agreement accelerates the decarbonization of heavy industry and maritime transport and supports Europe’s energy independence and security,” the statement, which was also published by the Port of Rotterdam, said.

“The co-operation is an element of Rotterdam’s ambition to produce Northwest Europe with 4.6 million tonnes of green hydrogen by 2030,” it went on so as to add.

The 2 parties have signed a memorandum of understanding related to the project. Cepsa’s shareholders are The Carlyle Group and Mubadala Investment Company Group.

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“Cepsa plans to export hydrogen produced at its San Roque Energy Park near the Bay of Algeciras, through hydrogen carriers similar to ammonia or methanol, to the Port of Rotterdam,” Tuesday’s statement said.

The Port of Rotterdam Authority’s CEO, Allard Castelein, said northwest Europe used “much more energy than it will probably produce in a sustainable way.”

“We’re subsequently organising multiple trade lanes for green hydrogen, along with exporting countries and personal businesses everywhere in the world,” he added.

Castelein went on to explain Southern Spain as being a “logical location to provide green hydrogen for each local use and export” because of its ports, wind, sun and “abundant space.”

“Establishing this trade lane between Algeciras and Rotterdam is a considerable contribution to Europe’s ambition to scale back CO2-emissions in addition to increase Europe’s energy independency and stimulate our economies,” he said.

Described by the International Energy Agency as a “versatile energy carrier,” hydrogen has a various range of applications and could be deployed in a big selection of industries.

It will possibly be produced in quite a few ways. One method includes electrolysis, with an electrical current splitting water into oxygen and hydrogen.

If the electricity utilized in this process comes from a renewable source similar to wind or solar then some call it “green” or “renewable” hydrogen. Today, the overwhelming majority of hydrogen generation is predicated on fossil fuels.

Tuesday’s announcement said Cepsa was aiming to “lead green hydrogen production in Spain and Portugal by 2030 with a production capability of 2GW.”

It added that it will develop a 7 GW portfolio of renewable energy projects — including solar and wind — to provide the renewable energy required for green hydrogen generation.

Europe’s plans

The European Commission has said it wants 40 GW of renewable hydrogen electrolyzers to be installed within the EU by 2030.

Last month, the commission’s president, Ursula von der Leyen, expressed support for hydrogen during her State of the Union address.

In remarks translated on the commission’s website, von der Leyen said “hydrogen generally is a game changer for Europe. We want to maneuver our hydrogen economy from area of interest to scale.”

In her speech, von der Leyen also referred to a “2030 goal to provide ten million tons of renewable hydrogen within the EU, annually.”

“To realize this, we must create a market maker for hydrogen, as a way to bridge the investment gap and connect future supply and demand,” she said.

To this end, von der Leyen also announced the creation of a European Hydrogen Bank. It’s hoped this can have the ability to speculate 3 billion euros (around $2.91 billion) to support the longer term marketplace for hydrogen.

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