Cepsa and the port of Rotterdam join up to create the first green hydrogen corridor between the north and south of Europe

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The agreement accelerates the decarbonization of heavy industry and maritime transport and supports Europe’s energy independence and security

Cepsa and the Port of Rotterdam are to work together to establish the first green hydrogen corridor between southern and northern Europe, ensuring a green hydrogen supply chain between two of Europe’s main ports, Rotterdam and Algeciras, as agreed in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by both parties.

Cepsa plans to export hydrogen produced at its San Roque Energy Park near the Bay of Algeciras, through hydrogen carriers such as ammonia or methanol, to the Port of Rotterdam. Rotterdam is the most important energy port in Europe, handling 13% of European energy demand, while the Port of Algeciras is first in Spain, fourth in Europe, and an important trade route between Europe and Asia. 

Government’s support, and as part of Rotterdam’s Energy Transition plans, the Port Authority and many private companies active in the port area are developing the necessary infrastructure and facilities for the import of green hydrogen and its distribution into Northwest Europe connecting large industrial centers in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany by means of hydrogen pipelines. Cepsa is the main energy company in Algeciras, close to Gibraltar.

This supply of green fuels will help to decarbonize industry and maritime transport in the Bay of Algeciras and Rotterdam and to support the European Union’s RePower EU strategy, which seeks to guarantee Europe’s energy independence and security and stimulate the production of clean energy. The trade lane is expected to be operational by 2027. Cepsa also intends to develop a similar supply chain from its La Rábida Energy Park in Huelva.

Under its Positive Motion strategy, Cepsa aspires to lead green hydrogen production in Spain and Portugal by 2030 with a production capacity of 2GW, half the current target set by the Spanish Government, and to become a major player in Europe. To generate the renewable energy necessary for its production, Cepsa will develop a portfolio of 7 GW of renewable, wind and solar projects alongside working hand in hand with other renewable energy producers in Andalusia to promote the integration of these new plants into the electricity system.

Cepsa’s Energy Parks in Andalusia have access to the most competitive renewable electricity in Europe, along with well-developed industrial infrastructure and direct sea access, presenting optimal conditions for the development of large scale competitive green hydrogen projects. This advantaged green molecule supply base will support the competitiveness and decarbonization of local industry and form the basis for a significant energy export opportunity, while positioning Spanish ports at the forefront of the supply of green fuels for the maritime sector.

Allard Castelein, CEO Port of Rotterdam Authority: “Northwest Europe uses far more energy than it can produce in a sustainable way. We are therefore setting up multiple trade lanes for green hydrogen, together with exporting countries and private businesses all over the world. We expect that in 2050 some 20 Mton of hydrogen will flow through the port, of which only 2 Mton will be produced locally.

“Southern Spain with its abundant space, sun, wind and ports is a logical location to produce green hydrogen for both local use and export. Setting up this trade lane between Algeciras and Rotterdam is a substantial contribution to Europe’s ambition to reduce CO2-emissions as well as increase Europe’s energy independency and stimulate our economies.”

Hydrogen is one of the priorities in Rotterdam’s Energy Transition plans with Port of Rotterdam working on setting up the infrastructure and facilities for facilitating hydrogen flows by co-developing a number of large projects with its port community members and connected industrial areas in northwest Europe. In collaboration with exporting countries and the cluster of companies operating at the port, it can supply northwestern Europe with 4.6 million tonnes annually by 2030, yielding 46 million tonnes of CO2 reduction.