Algeciras, Rotterdam Ports to Establish Green Hydrogen Corridor

Spanish oil and gas company Cepsa said it partnered with the Port of Rotterdam to establish the first green hydrogen corridor between the southern and northern Europe. Green hydrogen investments in Europe have accelerated this year in a bid to wean off Russian fossil fuel supplies. The corridor could be the first of many as governments and companies try to connect various regions worldwide to boost renewable energy sharing capabilities. Cepsa said the green hydrogen corridor will be established between the Port of Algeciras in southern Spain and the Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

According to company statement, Cepsa will be exporting hydrogen produced at its San Roque Energy Park near the Bay of Algeciras through hydrogen carriers such as ammonia or methanol. The Port of Rotterdam manages 13% of Europe’s energy demand, making it the most important energy port in the region, while the Port of Algeciras provides a key trade link between Europe and Asia. The development and funding of infrastructure and facilities will be carried out jointly by the Dutch government, the Port Authority, and several private companies. They aim to transport green hydrogen to other European countries via pipelines. The new corridor will support Rotterdam’s target of supplying Northwest Europe with 4.6 million tonnes of green hydrogen by the end of the decade.

The project, which is expected to become operational in 2027, also complies with the EU’s renewable energy strategy, RePower EU.

“The opportunity to build the first green hydrogen corridor in Algeciras, the leading energy port in Spain, demonstrates the unique role that Spain, and in particular Andalusia, will play in the energy transition in Europe. Spain is ideally placed to become a world leader in the production and export of green hydrogen, given its strategic location, abundant generation of renewable energies, and its robust energy infrastructures and key ports, such as Algeciras and Huelva. Cepsa, the main energy company in Andalusia, intends to play a leading role in realizing this vision.” Cepsa CEO, Wetselaar said.

“Setting up this trade lane between Algeciras and Rotterdam is a substantial contribution to Europe’s ambition to reduce CO2-emissions as well as increase Europe’s energy independency and stimulate our economies.” Northwest Europe used “far more energy than it can produce in a sustainable way,” and “we are therefore setting up multiple trade lanes for green hydrogen, together with exporting countries and private businesses all over the world.” The Rotterdam Port Authority CEO, Castelein said.

Since last year’s UN Climate Summit (COP 26), Europe’s green hydrogen industry has been steadily growing. In 2020, the EU established a ‘Green Deal’, which puts forward a three-phase plan for the development of the region’s green hydrogen industry, including the implementation of green hydrogen production and consumption across several industries by 2024, the creation of interconnected ‘hydrogen valleys’ by 2030, and the creation of a large European hydrogen infrastructure.

Spain’s Repsol has so far invested more than $4 billion in the green hydrogen sector. The energy company has also been leading a consortium of 33 companies and organizations to develop Spain’s green hydrogen industry. Spain aims to build a green hydrogen capacity of 500MW by 2025 and 2GW by 2030, with a final government target of 4GW.

The European Commission (EC) is aiming for 40 GW of renewable hydrogen electrolyzers to be installed in the EU by 2030.

The Algeciras-Rotterdam connection could be the first of many such corridors as companies continue to explore the potential for greater renewable energy sharing and connectivity via pipelines. Companies and governments have also been looking at existing infrastructure, such as natural gas pipelines, to transport green hydrogen. The European Hydrogen Backbone (EHB) initiative, consisting of thirty-one energy infrastructure operators, has proposed five green hydrogen corridors across Europe. Other green hydrogen corridor initiatives are also under assessment in South Africa and South Korea.

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