This nationwide hydrogen network, which will cost around €1.5 billion, will connect major industrial regions in the Netherlands and surrounding countries, such as Germany and Belgium, from 2030 onwards. In addition, the network will have connections to import terminals at seaports, domestic hydrogen production and large-scale hydrogen storage facilities. Last year, Hynetwork Services was commissioned by the government to develop the hydrogen network.
The national network will eventually be 1,200 kilometres long and largely consist of existing natural gas pipelines. Rotterdam, as one of the seaports, will act as a major gateway for hydrogen to northwest Europe, with hydrogen able to be transported through the network to industrial customers in the Netherlands and surrounding countries, such as Germany and Belgium. The first section of the hydrogen network will run in Rotterdam from the Tweede Maasvlakte to Pernis, a stretch of more than 30 kilometres. Construction will start after the summer and is expected to be operational by 2025.
Hans Coenen, Gasunie’s executive board member, said: “I am proud that we can now make the investment decision for the launch of the national hydrogen network. This launch marks an important step in the development of the hydrogen chain, which we are taking together with partners. A word of thanks also goes to the Port of Rotterdam Authority, Shell Nederland and the Ministry of Economic Affairs for their constructive cooperation and to our shareholder for their trust. We are keen to contribute to the sustainability and security of supply of energy in the Netherlands and other countries in north-western Europe.”
Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, CEO of Hydrogen Europe, added: “Within the European Union, hydrogen is going to play a crucial role in making our societies more sustainable and contributing to European energy independence. Here, the Netherlands can play a connecting role to bring the international supply of hydrogen to industrial end-users. Ultimately, it is the companies that have to do it. I therefore compliment Gasunie on this decision taken and wish them good luck with its realisation.”
European hydrogen energy hub
From 2030, the national hydrogen network will connect seaports with the major industrial clusters (Eemshaven, North Sea Canal area, Rotterdam, Zeeland and Limburg) in our country and with hydrogen storage sites. It also provides connections to Germany (Ruhr area and Hamburg) and Belgium. It promotes the development of the Netherlands as a European hydrogen energy hub and the growth of the international hydrogen market. Moreover, it contributes to European energy independence.
The use of existing pipelines, made available by the decrease in natural gas transport, will benefit the environment and reduce costs. About 85% of the network will consist of reused natural gas pipelines, which is 75% cheaper than building new infrastructure.