On Friday 27 October, His Majesty the King Willem-Alexander 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 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.
Sustainable, zero-emission equipment will be used for the construction, and Gasunie will also use solutions such as HyTap, which is a unique technology that makes it possible to safely connect end users to the hydrogen pipelines.
The first section of the hydrogen network will be over 30 km long and will be built in Rotterdam. It 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 km 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, Gasunie CEO, says: ‘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, says: ‘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.’