Plan for wind energy to power Rotterdam green hydrogen plant
Shell Nederland is working together with partners to create a green hydrogen hub in the port of Rotterdam. Shell aims to produce green hydrogen on the Tweede Maasvlakte using green electricity from wind power.
This wind power will preferably come from the Hollandse Kust (noord) offshore wind farm. Through their joint venture CrossWind, Shell and Eneco are participating in the tender for this wind farm. Both companies have issued guarantees to CrossWind for investments in the construction and operation of Hollandse Kust (noord).
The Netherlands is working hard to increase the amount of renewable power generation, for example by building offshore wind parks on a large scale. This approach affords the Netherlands an excellent position to become the hydrogen hub for Northwest-Europe, made possible due to its unique location and offshore wind potential in the North Sea and its extensive transport network of gas pipelines.
The Netherlands will need both green electrons and green molecules in order for the energy transition to succeed. Green hydrogen can play an important role in the decarbonisation of industry, which currently uses large volumes of grey hydrogen. Replacing this hydrogen produced from natural gas with green hydrogen contributes to the decarbonisation of the energy system. A second important use of the hydrogen will be in heavy duty transport, where due to the heavy weight of batteries the application of batteries for electric propulsion is limited.
Hollandse Kust (noord)
Shell and Eneco are participating in the tender for Hollandse Kust (noord) through their joint venture CrossWind. Both companies have a long and successful track record of developing, building and operating offshore wind farms. Together with the CrossWind consortium, they plan to have Hollandse Kust (noord) operational in 2023 with an estimated installed capacity of 759 MW, generating an estimated 3.3 TWh per year. This is sufficient renewable power to supply more than 1 million Dutch households with green electricity. The wind farm will be located approximately 18.5 kilometres off the Dutch coast near the town of Egmond aan Zee.
Together with the large-scale development of offshore wind projects comes the challenge of intermittency in wind generation. That is why CrossWind will invest in various innovations that can be implemented at full-scale in future wind farms to help balance the electricity network and keep societal costs low.
”With CrossWind, we want to work towards the realisation of the first offshore wind farm with innovations with regards to system integration” said Kees-Jan Rameau, Chief Strategic Growth Officer at Eneco. ”In addition to the energy the wind farm can generate, the park offers many opportunities to (further) develop innovative techniques that can be of added value in accelerating the energy transition. By combining the knowledge and expertise of Shell and Eneco, we can make full use of this potential. Moreover, this wind farm contributes to Eneco’s ambition to help every household and company in the Netherlands to switch to a sustainable and clean energy supply.”
Green hydrogen-hub thanks to hydrogen plant in port of Rotterdam
If the current plan will materialise, the hydrogen plant on the Tweede Maasvlakte will be built on a site especially designated by the Port of Rotterdam (2 GW conversion park) with Shell as the launching customer. In this plant, green hydrogen will be produced through electrolysis – a process in which water is split into hydrogen and oxygen using renewable electricity. The hydrogen plant will have a capacity of around 200 MW. The final investment decision for the hydrogen plant has not been taken yet.
Shell intends to start operations by 2023 to produce about 50,000 – 60,000 kg of hydrogen per day. The green hydrogen produced will initially be used at the Shell refinery in Pernis to decarbonise the production of fuels. This saves a minimum of 200,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. It is important that as of 2023 there is enough green hydrogen available, which can be used to decarbonise trucks in the transport sector. This way, approximately 2,300 hydrogen trucks per day could run on this volume of green hydrogen as the market for trucks on hydrogen develops.
“The energy transition calls for guts, boldness, and action,” says Marjan van Loon, President-Director of Shell Nederland. “We are proud that together with our partner Eneco we are participating in the tender to build Hollandse Kust (noord). Through the connection of this wind farm to our possible future green hydrogen plant in the Port of Rotterdam, we want to develop a new value chain together with our partners and governments – from wind to hydrogen – to create a green hydrogen hub. We regard this as a stepping stone for the recently announced NortH2-project. These projects fit well with our aspirations to provide more and cleaner energy to our customers, at home, on the go and at work.”
The green hydrogen plant that Shell wants to realise fits perfectly in the role that the port of Rotterdam envisions for itself to build a public hydrogen network in the port area. ”Shell’s announcement is now accelerating our plans for the construction of hydrogen pipeline for the Rotterdam industry,” says Allard Castelein, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority. ” With projects like this, we are jointly building a sustainable port and industry. This is important for the future of the port and therefore for the earning power of the Netherlands.”