Bilbao and Amsterdam Sign Agreement to develop new European Renewable Hydrogen Corridor
Yesterday, Port of Bilbao and Port of Amsterdam, together with the Energy Agency of the Basque Government (EVE), Petronor, SkyNRG, Evos Amsterdam and Zenith Energy Terminals, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to join forces for the development of a renewable hydrogen corridor between Bilbao and Amsterdam. The corridor will focus on the maritime route between the two ports. His Majesty the King of the Netherlands Willem-Alexander, the Dutch Minister Rob Jetten and the Spanish Minister Teresa Ribera attended the signing ceremony as official witnesses.
The attendance of the King underlines the importance attached by the Netherlands and Spain to bilateral cooperation for the development of the renewable hydrogen market. The Dutch Minister for Climate and Energy Policy, Mr. Rob Jetten, stated, ‘In order to realise a climate neutral energy system and a sustainable industry, the Netherlands and Europe have large hydrogen ambitions. International collaboration is essential to develop the hydrogen market and the associated infrastructure. Within the EU, Spain offers plenty of opportunities and is therefore one of our most important hydrogen partners. In the end, it is the companies that will truly need to make it happen. Important that this is already happening and that Dutch and Spanish companies are reaching shared agreements on the delivery of green hydrogen.’
The MoU states the parties will team up to develop a renewable hydrogen supply chain, focusing on production in the Basque Country and export to the Netherlands and the European hinterland through the port of Amsterdam. This fits with the wider Basque Hydrogen Strategy, developed by EVE, which is aimed at both local usage and international markets, and the Dutch government's stimulation of the production, import and use of hydrogen. The port of Bilbao is part of the Basque Hydrogen Corridor, a collaboration spearheaded by Petronor and Repsol to decarbonise the energy, industrial, residential and mobility sectors. Petronor is committed to developing a broad range of renewable fuels and to creating a hub in Bilbao that will compose a synthetic fuels plant and an urban waste processing project. Thus, Petronor and Repsol, together with EVE and other companies, are developing the construction of electrolysers for the production of renewable hydrogen, with a total capacity of 113 MW, and a demonstration plant for the production of hydrogen-based e-fuels, the first synthetic fuel plaint in Spain. They are developing another project focused on a municipal waste pyrolysis plant, which aligns with Repsol’s strategy of promoting the circular economy. It will make use of cutting-edge technologies to decarbonise processes in Petronor. These projects will set a new benchmark in Europe and are on the leading edge of the development of net-zero emissions fuels. Hydrogen based fuels, e-fuels and methanol are promising solutions to cope with both transport and maritime needs.
The port of Bilbao features multiple of these projects and will serve as a hub for the export of renewable hydrogen and its derivatives. The port of Bilbao is already an important European logistical centre. This role can be leveraged for the ambitions of the Spanish government to become a key supplier of renewable hydrogen and e-fuels to, in particular, North-West Europe. A green hydrogen corridor between the ports of Bilbao and Amsterdam can underpin this ambition. Carlos Alzaga, Managing Director of the Port of Bilbao Authority said, ‘The Port of Bilbao is fully committed to the production, transport and use of renewable energies and supports and works together with those companies that are developing green sources of energies. And green hydrogen is one of the most important paths for that goal.’
Port of Amsterdam is the operator of Europe’s fourth-largest port and is strongly committed to developing green hydrogen facilities within its port area, as well as establishing import corridors for green hydrogen and its derivatives. One of the prominent industrial sectors supplied by the port of Amsterdam is the aviation industry. The port features a direct connection to one of Europe’s largest airports, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. The aviation industry faces a significant decarbonisation challenge, with Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) viewed as an important part of tackling this challenge. SkyNRG, a global leader in SAF, is developing a network of SAF production facilities that require green hydrogen as input, including one in the port of Amsterdam. Zenith Energy Terminals and Evos Amsterdam are the operators of some of the most prominent blending and storage terminals in the port. Zenith Energy Terminals is developing a liquid hydrogen supply chain, while Evos Amsterdam is working on a liquid organic hydrogen carrier supply chain. Dorine Bosman, Chief Investment Officer at Port of Amsterdam, said, “The port of Amsterdam plays a crucial role in the energy transition. The recently awarded status of Hydrogen Valley to the broader Amsterdam area highlights the pace of development in this region. Port of Amsterdam views green hydrogen and e-fuels as major components of the port of the future. We are very pleased to collaborate with the companies active in our port, and with our Spanish counterparts. The port of Bilbao and Petronor are natural fits for setting up a green hydrogen corridor. The formation of such intra-European corridors goes a long way in propelling the European Union as a whole to its new energy future.”
All parties to the MoU are keen to support the ambitions of the European Union, as defined in the REpowerEU policy plan, and the cooperation between Spain and the Netherlands. The establishment of a corridor between the ports of Bilbao and Amsterdam will connect two rapidly developing Hydrogen Valleys. The corridor will not only facilitate the trade of renewable hydrogen and e-fuels, but it will also foster the exchange of knowledge and expertise between the parties involved. The Spanish and Dutch parties will jointly discuss the next steps for their collaboration. Ultimately, this initiative will further strengthen the Spanish-Dutch relationship and contribute to the overall goal of reducing emissions.
The MoU was signed by Carlos Alzaga, Managing Director of the Port Authority of Bilbao, Iñigo Ansola, General Manager of EVE, José Ignacio Zudaire, Deputy of CEO of Petronor, Gert-Jan Nieuwenhuizen, Managing Director of Port of Amsterdam International, Theye Veen, Chief Commercial Officer of SkyNRG, Ramon Ernst, Managing Director of Evos Amsterdam, and Tadhg Deasy, Managing Director of Zenith Energy Europe. The agreement was signed in the presence of HM Willem-Alexander, King of the Netherlands.