The H-vision team is working with twelve partners from the hydrogen value chain to achieve a large-scale reduction in the industry’s carbon emissions in the near future.
H-vision plans to build two hydrogen plants in the Rotterdam industrial port area, with a combined production capacity of 1500 MW, to provide low-carbon hydrogen as a fuel for heating processes in industry.
Alice Krekt, Project Director of H-vision, speaks with the Port of Rotterdam. Alice is also the Climate Program Director at Deltalinqs, a Rotterdam-based trade association that represents 700 companies from 14 industries.
How does H-vision contribute to the energy transition and the EU’s objectives to reduce CO2 emissions?
Alice: “Industry faces substantial climate challenges. Without the use of low-CO2 hydrogen as a fuel in industry, the ambitious climate targets for 2030 appear to be unattainable. We cannot wait for a sufficient supply of renewable electricity to make CO2-free hydrogen. And as we move towards 2050, we must already install the infrastructure and develop the market for the future if we want to achieve the 2050 targets.”
H-vision will enable industry to significantly reduce its CO2 emissions in the short term. The idea is to build two new hydrogen plants in the Rotterdam port area, the first one is scheduled to be operational in 2026.
Alice: “Using proven technology that converts natural gas into carbon dioxide and hydrogen, around 90% of H-vision’s hydrogen is manufactured from refinery gases, while the remainder of around 10% is supplemented with natural gas. While producing this low-carbon hydrogen, the CO2 is immediately captured and stored under the sea. Our industrial partners will use that hydrogen as fuel. For example at refineries in order to generate the heat required to manufacture products. H-vision is not dependent on the generation of sustainable electricity and can therefore be produced on an industrial scale before 2030, providing industry the energy volumes it needs.”
How does H-vision fit into Rotterdam’s ambitions to become an international hydrogen cluster?
Alice: “The Paris climate targets represent an enormous challenge for industry in Rotterdam. Compared to other EU countries, the Netherlands has built up a considerable industrial sector with an international connection function in Rotterdam. With 385,000 jobs and 6.2% of GDP, this has numerous advantages. At the same time, the scale of the industrial sector also means that a highly significant CO2 reduction is required to achieve national and European climate targets. To do this, we need projects that can quickly help to significantly reduce CO2 emissions in the Netherlands and prepare the way for a sustainable and climate-neutral energy supply by 2050. H-vision is exactly that type of project!”
In the first phase, H-vision is aiming for a regional network between locations for hydrogen production and customers, and there is space for additional customers in the future. The H-vision partners foresee further integration with the heralded open-access hydrogen backbone of Gasunie and the Port of Rotterdam, which will connect the port to the future national hydrogen backbone.
Alice: “H-vision is helping to initiate the hydrogen value chain that will ultimately consist of production, use, trade, import and transit. Thanks to this project, industry can make the necessary technical adjustments in the short term, such as to industrial furnaces, ensuring they will be prepared ahead of time for a much wider integration of hydrogen in the economy. In this way, H-vision is supporting Rotterdam’s ambition to grow into an international hydrogen hub.”
How can the EU stimulate the uptake of low-carbon hydrogen across Europe and support innovative projects such as H-vision?
Alice: “Today, hydrogen is central to every story or conversation about the energy and raw material transition. Hydrogen will play an important role in a climate-neutral energy supply. I am happy to see that the Dutch Government and the EU have a vision for hydrogen and the provinces and municipalities are also passionate about hydrogen. We are already seeing an increase in the use of hydrogen for mobility and buildings. By using low-CO2 hydrogen in the energy supply, industry can quickly make a significant contribution to the climate targets.”
“That being said, we should not forget that no party can develop a hydrogen system on its own. It is a joint task, both in the Netherlands and in Europe. In that way, H-vision is a good example with a large number of partners from the hydrogen chain that have already joined. H-vision can also count on broad support from the Dutch Government, the municipality of Rotterdam, the province, the European Commission and a number of leading knowledge institutes. H-vision is seeking cooperation and knowledge-sharing with other European industrial clusters. In that way we are making good progress. However, the necessary regulation is lagging behind. For instance, there is no support for low-CO2 hydrogen as a fuel and solutions to close financial gaps are insufficient. We call upon the national and European legislators and the next Dutch Government to clarify this as soon as possible.”