Dutch TSO, Zeeland join up for hydrogen network
Dutch company Gasunie and North Sea Port signed an agreement to develop a regional transport network for hydrogen in Zeeland, the transmission system operator said September 23.
The 'Hydrogen Delta Network NL' will build on the region's existing position for hydrogen and is intended to take shape over the coming years. The next step will be to connect this regional infrastructure to the national Dutch and Belgian hydrogen infrastructure.
At 520,000 metric tons/yr, the Zeeland industrial cluster accounts for 35% of all the Dutch demand for hydrogen. Several electrolysis projects have already been announced in the region, based on renewable electricity, mainly from wind. But the region can also import hydrogen from the North Sea Port area.
Vlissingen accounts for most of the supply and the Ghent-Terneuzen Canal Zone is the main demand centre. Linking the two can be done by reusing gas pipelines onshore as well as those crossing the Western Scheldt.
North Sea Port at the same time is developing a similar regional network in Belgium together with gas transport company Fluxys and steel producer ArcelorMittal. By the end of 2025, the hydrogen infrastructure in the delta region will be ready, Gasunie says.
The Zeeland network is expected to be connected to the national hydrogen infrastructure that Gasunie is developing in the Netherlands in 2027.
This backbone will not only connect the Dutch industrial clusters, it will also have connections with hydrogen storage facilities in the northern Netherlands, Germany and other parts of Belgium. The project and its expansion fit seamlessly within the hydrogen strategy that the Dutch government recently presented at the state opening of parliament. That strategy will involve investing in the hydrogen infrastructure in the Netherlands.
Gasunie has already stored hydrogen successfully using a salt cavern facility normally used for methane in the Netherlands. But the faster hydrogen can be taken up by the industrial sector for heat, the bigger the risk to carbon capture and storage projects: one such, Athos, has been scrapped as a major CO2 emitter that would have underpinned the project has decided to switch to hydrogen for its steel-making.