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North Sea Port goes all in for hydrogen: from biggest hydrogen hub in Benelux to European hydrogen hub

Published on Wed 13 Apr 2022
North Sea Port and industry face the massive challenge of making the transition from fossil fuels to sustainable fuels and raw materials. Hydrogen has a very important role to play in this regard. As the biggest hydrogen hub in the Benelux, the port is growing into a European player.

Making the transition to climate neutrality represents a huge shift. Using renewables including sustainable hydrogen will fundamentally change the face of industry and the transportation sector. Daan Schalck, CEO, North Sea Port: "North Sea Port is setting a blueprint for this change with its hydrogen strategy, which is an important plank of the 'Connect 2025' strategic plan in terms of energy and climate. It will see North Sea Port grow from being the biggest hydrogen hub in the Benelux to being a hydrogen hub on a European scale.” 

Biggest hydrogen hub in the Benelux 

The cross-border industry cluster in North Sea Port is the biggest hydrogen hub in the Benelux. 580 ktons of hydrogen are produced and consumed by companies annually. In the coming years, the demand for sustainable hydrogen as a feedstock and fuel will increase in sectors like steel, chemicals, aluminium, fertilisers, refining, food, construction materials and transportation. This will enable existing industry to meet national, European and global climate targets. The availability of sustainable hydrogen and associated infrastructure will also attract innovative new industry. This will serve to further anchor and increase economic added value and employment in the port area while steadily reducing the negative impact on the wider environment. 

A strong hand for a European-scale hydrogen hub 

As it embarks on this energy transition, North Sea Port holds a number of strong cards in its bid to become a European hydrogen hub. 

As the biggest hydrogen hub in Benelux, the port is in a position to meet existing and future large-scale local demand for hydrogen. On the supply side, a number of projects to produce sustainable hydrogen are in the pipeline. 

Landing the power from new and existing offshore wind farms in the Netherlands and Belgium is very important in this regard, not least for making green hydrogen directly. Moreover, the presence and further development of the high-voltage network (380 kV) in Borssele and Ghent will provide large quantities of electricity for future hydrogen plants. 

The availability of infrastructure for the capture, transport by pipeline and ship and storage of CO2 in empty gas fields at sea or in tanks(Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)) will continue to increase. North Sea Port has a favourable location on the North Sea plus numerous deepwater port facilities to enable companies to import hydrogen from other countries. 

As a cross-border port, North Sea Port has substantial areas of land available for investment, particularly in these activities. 

An open-access cross-border hydrogen pipeline will connect all the supply and demand in and around North Sea Port. As a multimodal port, North Sea Port has strong hinterland connections by rail, inland waterway and road, assuring the transport of hydrogen to other industry clusters and ports in Europe. 

Daan Schalck: "The hydrogen strategy demonstrates how the port and industry are working hard to assure prosperity in the Netherlands, Belgium, Flanders and the region, an effort we hope will enjoy wide support." 

Read more about North Sea Port’s various strengths below 

Quotes from some of the hydrogen strategy partners