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Cepsa and the Port of Rotterdam have today (11 October) announced that they are to work together to establish the first green hydrogen corridor between southern and northern Europe – a move which is expected to ‘help to decarbonise industry and maritime transport’ in the Bay of Algeciras and Rotterdam.

The partnership is intended to ensure a green hydrogen supply chain between the two European ports. Rotterdam handles 13% of European energy demand – more than any European port – while the Port of Algeciras is first in Spain and fourth in Europe overall.

Spanish energy company 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.

With the Dutch 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 centres in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany by means of hydrogen pipelines.

The supply of green fuels is expected to help to decarbonise 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 opportunity to build the first green hydrogen corridor in Algeciras, the leading energy port in Spain, demonstrates the unique role that Spain, and in particular Andalusia, will play in the energy transition in Europe,’ said Maarten Wetselaar, CEO of Cepsa. ‘Spain is ideally placed to become a world leader in the production and export of green hydrogen, given its strategic location, abundant generation of renewable energies, and its robust energy infrastructures and key ports, such as Algeciras and Huelva. Cepsa, the main energy company in Andalusia, intends to play a leading role in realising this vision.’

Wetselaar added: ‘This agreement is an example of the important collaborations necessary to bring about the energy transition in Europe and to ensure secure and independent energy supply. Cepsa will continue to explore further partnerships in which we can accelerate Positive Motion and the roll out of green hydrogen and biofuels across the continent.’

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, the company intends to 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.

Speaking at Petrospot’s ship.energy summit in Valencia earlier this year, Cepsa’s Head of Products Trading, Carlos Giner, said throughout the remainder of the decade Cepsa would be investing between €7 billion and €8 billion of which 60% will be allocated for sustainable energy.

Explaining the motivation behind the MoU with Cepsa, Allard Castelein, CEO Port of Rotterdam Authority, pointed out that 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,’ said Castelein.

Castelein also highlighted the strategic location of Algeciras.

‘Southern Spain with its abundant space, sun, wind and ports is a logical location to produce green hydrogen for both local use and export,’ said Castelein. ‘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.’

The trade lane is expected to be operational by 2027. Cepsa also intends to develop a similar supply chain from its La Rabida Energy Park in Huelva.


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