Shell has announced it has taken the final investment decision to build a new green hydrogen facility in the Netherlands.
Dubbed Holland Hydrogen I, the oil giant said once operational in 2025, the facility, which is to be built as part of the Maasvlakte 2 development in the port of Rotterdam, will be “Europe’s largest renewable hydrogen plant”.
According to Shell, a 200 MW electrolyser powered by an offshore wind farm partly owned by the company, will generate as much as 60,000 kg of renewable hydrogen every day.
“Holland Hydrogen I demonstrates how new energy solutions can work together to meet society’s need for cleaner energy. It is also another example of Shell’s own efforts and commitment to become a net-zero emissions business by 2050,” Anna Mascolo, Executive Vice President, Emerging Energy Solutions at Shell said. “Renewable hydrogen will play a pivotal role in the energy system of the future and this project is an important step in helping hydrogen fulfil that potential.”
The renewable hydrogen produced at the plant will be used to supply the Shell Energy and Chemicals Park Rotterdam, a large biofuels facility capable of producing 820,000 t/y, by way of the HyTransPort pipeline.
Stretching for 32 km underground, HyTransPort is a new hydrogen pipeline through the Port of Rotterdam. Due to start construction in 2023, when complete the pipeline will form a part of the Netherlands hydrogen infrastructure and will eventually link to Chemelot in Limburg, North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany and other European regions.
Shell’s expansion in to low-carbon hydrogen production, comes amid record profits during the first quarter of 2022 of £8bn (US$9.1bn), boosted by higher oil and gas prices. This is nearly triple the £2.7bn the company reported in the same quarter last year.
Although Shell plans to make headway in renewable energies, it is reliant on gas and oil to help fund the company’s investments in low- and zero-carbon energy, said Shell Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden at the recent Aurora Energy Summit in Oxford, UK.
While discussing Shell’s changing portfolio and how the energy transition to greener fuels “needs to go much faster”, van Beurden said Shell will play a leading role in this acceleration, but noted that it cannot happen at once.
Subject to Board approval, van Beurden said Shell UK plans to invest between £20bn–25bn in the UK on the development of low- and zero-carbon energy products and services.
This includes investments in natural gas, to help get the balance right between energy security and the transition to net-zero emissions, said van Beurden, as well as a considerable part going towards renewable electricity from wind and solar.
“The world needs an energy system that provides a secure supply of energy that is reliable and sustainable and affordable. This means Shell will continue to supply oil and gas for many years to come. Across the world, and also in the UK,” he added.
by Kerry Hebden
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