King Willem-Alexander marks the start of construction of Gasunie’s national hydrogen network
At Rotterdam’s Tweede Maasvlakte industrial park, King Willem-Alexander officially gets work underway on the construction of the first section of hydrogen infrastructure that will span 1,200 kilometres in total.
The network will connect major industrial users in the Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium to hydrogen storage facilities and international supply lines. The Netherlands is ideally positioned to be a gateway for hydrogen into north-western Europe.
On Friday 27 October, his Majesty the King of the Netherlands performed the official ceremony to start work on the construction of a national hydrogen network in the Netherlands. The ceremony took place on the building site of Gasunie subsidiary Hynetwork Services in the port of Rotterdam, where the contractor, Visser & Smit Hanab, will build the first section of the national network.
From 2030, the national hydrogen network, which will cost around 1.5 billion euros to build, will connect the Netherlands’ major industrial areas to each other and to Germany and Belgium. The Dutch government commissioned Gasunie last year to develop the hydrogen network. After the official start, King Willem-Alexander was treated to a tour of the building site by Gasunie and contractor staff. Sustainable, zero-emission equipment will be used for the construction, and Gasunie will also use solutions such as HyTap, which is unique technology that makes it possible to safely connect end users to the hydrogen pipelines.
After the tour, the King engaged with several of the parties involved in both the Netherlands and abroad about the transition of businesses towards sustainability, about the role of hydrogen in a sustainable energy system, about hydrogen transport, and about hydrogen import options. Hydrogen plays a crucial role in making energy supply more sustainable.
For example, in making industry and heavy transport more sustainable. One of the preconditions for the development of a hydrogen market is that there needs to be infrastructure in place for the transport and storage of hydrogen. By being the first country in Europe to have its hydrogen infrastructure in place, the Netherlands can become an important hub for renewable energy.
The first section of the hydrogen network, a stretch of over 30 kilometres, will be built in Rotterdam and will connect the Tweede Maasvlakte industrial park to Pernis. It is expected to be operational in 2025. The national network will ultimately span 1,200 kilometres and consist largely of repurposed existing natural gas pipelines.
The network will be linked to large-scale hydrogen production facilities, import terminals at seaports, and companies in the Netherlands and abroad that will be switching to hydrogen to make their operations more sustainable.
Han Fennema, CEO Gasunie: ‘Today marks the start of construction of the Dutch hydrogen network, and this fill us with great pride. It is a new milestone in the transition to a more sustainable energy supply in the Netherlands and north-western Europe. I would like to thank all our partners for making this possible. Thanks to the boundless efforts of everyone involved, we can start building here today.’
Rob Jetten, Minister for Climate and Energy Policy: ‘The start of construction of the hydrogen network today is an important milestone. The Netherlands has high hydrogen ambitions: hydrogen is an ideal solution for making our industry more sustainable and offers economic opportunities for the Netherlands as a key hub in north-western Europe. This national network is essential for achieving those ambitions, and I am proud that we are the first country to start building a national network.’