Will the port of Rotterdam soon extract green hydrogen from Australia?

Will the port of Rotterdam soon extract green hydrogen from Australia?

The port of Rotterdam wants to import green hydrogen from South Australia. The port authority and the Australian state signed an agreement in principle in which they agreed to explore the feasibility of the cooperation. Despite the transport costs, the hydrogen could be competitive with energy generated in the Netherlands.

With an abundance of sun and wind, South Australia wants to become a major player as an exporter of energy in the coming years. At the moment, 60 percent of the electricity in the state comes from solar and wind. By 2030, the state wants 100 percent to come from renewable sources. The Government of South Australia has also expressed its ambition to produce about five times as much energy as it needs by 2050. “With new power connections and carriers such as hydrogen, we can become a national and international exporter of clean electricity,” Dan van Holst Pellekaan, Australia’s minister for energy and mining, said in a press presentation.

Hydrogen backbone of Europe

The port of Rotterdam, in turn, wants to be an indispensable link in Europe’s hydrogen network. The port authority is working with Gasunie on a hydrogen pipeline that ‘forms the backbone of hydrogen infrastructure in Europe’. “Europe remains a net importer of energy. However, it will gradually shift from grey to green,” says Allard Castelein, director of Port of Rotterdam during the same presentation. “The Port of Rotterdam Authority wants to facilitate this shift by stimulating the development of new hydrogen supply chains.”

Competitive energy

Although the distance between Australia and Rotterdam entails considerable transport costs, this is a relatively small part of the total cost, Castelein adds. Most of the costs are incurred in the production phase, storage or conversion of gas to liquid and vice versa. “This means that local conditions, such as the amount of sunshine and wind in South Australia, can make this hydrogen very competitive on the European market.”

Hydrogen from all over the world

The port authority is not just looking at South Australia as a supplier of hydrogen. Last week Castelein signed a similar agreement with chile’s energy minister. Chile also has good conditions for renewable energy. The country has a clear strategy around hydrogen and high technological standards for production and transport.

In addition to Chile and Australia, feasibility studies are also underway between Port of Rotterdam with Morocco, Portugal, Uruguay, Portugal and countries in the Middle East.

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