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Port of Rotterdam Authority takes part in hydrogen import study

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Port of Rotterdam Authority and partners have signed an agreement to jointly study the commercial-scale import of hydrogen from overseas.

Koole Terminals, Chiyoda Corporation and Mitsubishi Corporation have signed an agreement alongside the Port of Rotterdam Authority to study the feasibility of a commercial-scale import of hydrogen from overseas sources to one of Koole’s terminals in the Port of Rotterdam, utilising Chiyoda’s SPERA Hydrogen technology.

The Port of Rotterdam Authority will provide a matchmaking role for major hydrogen end-users in Northwest Europe and competitive oversea hydrogen suppliers and support for materialising the project.

Koole Terminals will pursue ways to innovate its terminal facilities and support development of onward transport to their end-users.

Chiyoda Corporation will be the technology provider for the project and Mitsubishi Corporation, as one of Japan’s top trading and investment company in the field of energy industry, will lead the commercial development of the project to make the overall hydrogen supply chain commercially viable.

“Shipping hydrogen is more challenging than shipping oil or coal,” the port authority explained.

“One option is for it to be made liquid by cryogenic process to minus 253 degrees (Celsius), another is to transform it into a carrier, like ammonia or methanol, or lastly it could be chemically combined in a so called Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier (LOHC).”

Methylcyclohexane (MCH) is a LOHC. It maintains a stable liquid state under ambient temperature and pressure.

As a means of storage and transportation of hydrogen, MCH is comparable with petroleum and petrochemical production in terms of the risks involved. 

In 2020 Chiyoda Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation and Mitsui and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha successfully completed the demonstration project of the long distance transportation (5000km) and storage of hydrogen using Chiyoda Corporation’s SPERA Hydrogen technology by producing MCH in Brunei, shipping it to Japan and shipping toluene back to Brunei.

This was the world’s very first global hydrogen supply chain project proving the technical readiness for commercial use.

SPERA Hydrogen is expected to play an important role in the realization of commercial scale hydrogen supply chains globally and contribute to global carbon neutrality in 2050.

One of the major advantages of MCH over liquid hydrogen and ammonia as a hydrogen carrier is that it makes use of existing infrastructure and vessels, and is easier to handle.

The feasibility study is expected to take one year. It is the ambition of the companies to import 100 to 200 Kilo Tons per Annum (ktpa) hydrogen in 2025 and 300 to 400 ktpa in 2030.

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