Netherlands signs hydrogen deal with Oman at COP27

During the COP27 climate summit being held in Egypt, the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Rutte, signed a deal with the government of Oman which will see the two countries collaborating on hydrogen import and export.

By establishing import and export facilities for green hydrogen, the Netherlands is aiming to accelerate the energy transition beyond its borders while integrating green hydrogen into its own industrial and transport sectors.

The country’s shift towards clean energy sources is reflected in a planned $1.6bn investment into a green hydrogen network that will consist of 85% recycled natural gas pipes.

To be developed by state-owned natural gas infrastructure specialist Gasunie, the network will have an initial capacity of 10 gigawatts (GW) and will link up ‘carbon-free’ hydrogen supply and demand.

Planned to start-up in 2027, the network’s first pipelines will prioritise regions with ‘strong hydrogen development’ such as Rotterdam and Groningen.

According to the Port of Rotterdam Authority – operators of the largest port in Europe – by 2050 up to 18m tonnes of green hydrogen will be imported into north-western Europe via the city of Rotterdam.

“These are enormous quantities because we have to replace not only the current use of grey hydrogen with hydrogen from renewable energy, but also some of the current uses of natural gas, oil, coal and such. It really is a huge transition,” said Monica Swanson, Program Manager International Hydrogen Corridors at Port of Rotterdam.

The Port has reportedly made over 80 connections with projects in countries that are regarded as the ‘most likely’ green hydrogen exporting countries, one of which is Oman.

“We look at countries that have a strategy for the production and export of hydrogen; that have sufficient renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, hydropower and geothermal,” added Swanson.

“We obviously also look at how realistic production plans are and, more importantly, whether there are opportunities to scale up.”

A report by the International Trade Administration published earlier this year revealed that Oman is planning to derive at least 30% of electricity from renewables by 2030.

In addition to its largescale solar photovoltaic power project, Ibri 2, which started in January, Oman has embarked on several other projects in line with targets for 2030, including a wind far, in Dhofar, two solar IPPs in Manah, and 11 solar-diesel hybrid facilities.

This focus on renewables builds upon the country’s plan to build a hydrogen-centric economy by 2040, with an annual production of green and blue hydrogen of approximately 30GW by 2040.

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