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Blue hydrogen affordable option for CO2 reduction in port of Rotterdam

Published on 16 August 2019

Large-scale production and application of blue hydrogen will enable the Rotterdam industrial area to significantly reduce its CO2 emissions well before 2030. This is the result of a feasibility study carried out by 16 companies and organisations working together in the H-vision project with the support of Berenschot. Minister Wiebes of Economic Affairs and Climate received the H-vision report on 2 July.

The H-vision research team recently costed a number of business cases (low-reference-high) in terms of technology, financial basis and market conditions. In the reference variant, the price per tonne of CO2 avoided ranges between €86 to €146, depending on the economic scenarios. This makes the production and use of hydrogen cheaper than most of the alternatives currently receiving funding under the Dutch government’s SDE+ scheme (Stimulation of Sustainable Energy Production). In the reference variant, construction of the H-vision hydrogen plants would create an annual production capacity of more than 700 kilotonnes, or approximately 3200 MW. This would enable low-carbon production of 20% of the heat and power that Rotterdam’s industries require.

Hydrogen production

H-vision focuses primarily on the production of hydrogen from natural gas and by reusing residual gases from industry. The CO2 released during production is captured and stored in empty gas fields in the North Sea. The blue hydrogen obtained in this way can then be deployed as a low-carbon energy carrier in industrial processes to generate high temperatures and to produce electricity.

Berenschot and H-vision

Deltalinqs, the association which represents most of the logistic, ports and industrial enterprises in mainport Rotterdam, asked Berenschot to steer the Business working group. Berenschot provided guidance to the companies involved to develop the business model and write the report. Berenschot also calculated the business case and provided editing support for the final report.

Next steps H-vision

After the successful completion of the feasibility study, H-vision entered a new phase in which it will consult with the government about regulations, risk management and financial support. The choices made in the Dutch Climate Agreement are highly relevant too. H-vision is now focusing on further detailing technical design, costings and funding, market position and organisation. Further research will also be carried out on the location for the hydrogen plants. The feasibility report indicated that the Maasvlakte would be a good location.