Gasunie, HES International (HES), and Vopak will collaborate to construct an import terminal for green ammonia, which may be used to transport hydrogen.
The corporations have signed a memorandum of understanding to that effect. The collaboration is in response to increased worldwide demand for green energy imports and storage. This quarter, construction will begin on the import terminal’s basic design. The terminal, dubbed ACE Terminal, will open on the Maasvlakte in 2026.
Green hydrogen is viewed as a critical component of the future mix of renewable energy sources. Green hydrogen demand is increasing in the energy, transportation, and petrochemical industries in both the Netherlands and Germany. An import terminal for green ammonia will contribute significantly to hydrogen imports, which are a critical link in the hydrogen chain, alongside hydrogen production, transportation, and storage. A dependable logistic chain is critical for establishing the market for green hydrogen and reaching the 2030 and 2050 climate objectives.
Ammonia as a transporter of hydrogen
Along with green hydrogen production in the Netherlands, there will be a need for large-scale imports of green hydrogen in Northwestern Europe to fulfill future demand. Green ammonia’s role as a hydrogen carrier will be critical. Green hydrogen reacts with nitrogen to generate green ammonia, which enables the hydrogen to be delivered in huge quantities efficiently and safely. After storage, the ammonia can be transformed back to green hydrogen. Green ammonia is also instantly useable as a CO2-free fuel, such as for shipping, or as a raw material, such as for fertilizer manufacturing.
Vessels from all over the world can berth at the proposed location on Rotterdam’s Maasvlakte to release green ammonia, and perhaps blue ammonia in the initial phase. The existing infrastructure and logistical capabilities of the Port of Rotterdam can be utilized. The property provides space for the establishment of an ammonia-to-hydrogen conversion facility. In the future, this installation will be connected to Gasunie’s national hydrogen network, which will service Northwestern Europe’s future hydrogen market.
HES occupies a prominent location on the Maasvlakte, with quayside capacity and direct access from the sea. Gasunie already has infrastructure in place at this location, including existing storage tanks and a pipeline system. Vopak has considerable experience in the safe storage of ammonia, with six ammonia terminals located throughout the world. By collaborating, an attractive starting point will be developed from which the partners will be able to realize the import site for green ammonia in Rotterdam within a few years. The final investment choice must yet be made, and will be based on a variety of factors, including customer contracts and the acquisition of relevant permits, including the EIA procedure.
Consultation of the market
The service proposal will include a self-contained open access terminal architecture in which the partners will not own the green ammonia. A market consultation procedure is about to begin in which interested parties can express their interest in supplying, storing, and transhipping green ammonia and hydrogen. Initial conversations with international market participants have already begun.