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Import of hydrogen

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Rotterdam aims to be Europe’s Hydrogen Hub. An important part of Rotterdam as Europe's Hydrogen Hub is the import of hydrogen.

The Port of Rotterdam is currently exploring the possibilities for the import of green hydrogen with over 150 projects worldwide. There already are agreements with 25 countries all over the world. Varying from Norway, Spain and Scotland to the United States, Canada, Brazil, Australia and Namibia.


Becoming the leading port for import of hydrogen. Here's how we aim to do it.

Artist impression of hydrogen import vessel
Renewable liquid hydrogen supply chain between Portugal and Netherlands on the horizon
Photo of the Europoort. ©Aeroview
OCI expands import terminal for (green) ammonia
Vopak in Europoort
Development of import terminal for hydrogen carrier in port of Rotterdam
Aerial photo of Europoort and Maasvlakte
Air Products and Gunvor cooperate on Green Hydrogen Import Terminal in Rotterdam
European commissioner Frans Timmermans and Allard Castelein, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority
Rotterdam can supply Europe with 4.6 megatonnes of hydrogen by 2030
Hydrogen molecules
Feasibility study on export of South Australian green hydrogen to Rotterdam

Europe’s Hydrogen Hub

Rotterdam is an important landing port for North Rhine-Westphalia. For example, a quantity of crude oil is now transported daily by pipeline from Rotterdam to North Rhine-Westphalia, which is equivalent to 1500 tankers. A lot of hydrogen is needed as a replacement for some of the fossil energy but also as feedstock for certain industries.

It is estimated that the amount of hydrogen passing through Rotterdam in 2050 could rise to 20 million tons. Besides for local consumption in Rotterdam and the Netherlands, the majority is intended for use in neighboring countries, in particular Germany. In this way Rotterdam will continue to be the largest energy port for Germany as well as the Netherlands.

Transport of hydrogen

90% of the future volumes of green hydrogen need to be imported. Research by the various experts shows that once hydrogen is in a vessel, the distance you transport it does not matter that much to the final cost delivered.

The majority of transport costs are mainly related to making hydrogen suitable for transport. Unlike, for example, oil that is liquid at ‘normal’ temperatures, hydrogen has to either be cooled down considerably (to -253 degrees Celsius) to make it liquid, or alternatively ‘packed’ (and unpacked) hydrogen into another molecule, such as ammonia (NH3), methanol or a Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier (LOHC). That process requires energy and thus increases the cost of Hydrogen.

Transport of gaseous hydrogen by pipeline could be cheaper however not practical for some of the high potential production countries across the Oceans. Our demand is expected to be so large that we need their hydrogen shipped to Rotterdam as well to achieve our targets.

Import terminals for hydrogen

In order to facilitate imports, various parties in Rotterdam are looking at the development of import terminals. At the moment, several types of hydrogen carriers can already be handled in Rotterdam. It is expected that the terminal capacity for (green) hydrogen will be increased in the coming years.

The Port Authority is also developing a new hydrogen pipeline through the port together with Gasunie. This will facilitate the distribution of hydrogen throughout the entire port complex and subsequently connect to other pipelines in the Netherlands and North-western Europe.

Podcast: Hello Hydrogen

The Port of Rotterdam Authority plays an proactive role in the realisation of Europe’s Hydrogen Hub. We have a vision, we bring different parties together and we develop plans to help to accelerate the energy transition. Listen to the podcast Hello Hydrogen and find out more about current developments.