Air Products boosts Rotterdam’s energy transition

The energy transition in Rotterdam is in full swing. Companies, research and knowledge institutes and governmental bodies in Rotterdam actively collaborate in developing new solutions and technologies to push the energy transition forward. Hydrogen is pivotal to these collective efforts. Recently, Air Products made investment decisions for a second liquid hydrogen plant and Europe's largest low-carbon hydrogen plant. Furthermore, the company plans to develop a renewable hydrogen facility that will be used to produce renewable hydrogen from imported ammonia. Altogether, the projects contribute to the positioning of the Netherlands as a hydrogen hub for northwestern Europe.

Air Products is a leading industrial gases company with more than 80 years of experience. The company has been active in the Netherlands since 1967 and has developed into the world’s largest producer of hydrogen, with 60 years of experience in hydrogen and the development of hydrogen technologies. The company designs, builds, owns and operates large projects around the world, including blue and green hydrogen production projects.

Contributing to the energy transition

As an industrial gas company, Air Products is heavily involved with the energy transition. Paul Hoogeveen, director Tonnage & Gas at Air Products explains: “We believe that hydrogen is at the heart of the energy transition because of its potential to decarbonize “hard-to-abate sectors”, such as industry and heavy transport. As an energy carrier, hydrogen offers a complementary option for storing and transporting energy, with low environmental impact. In particular hydrogen that is produced from renewable energy sources such as solar and wind energy, will create a hugely important source of sustainable energy value in the future. Many countries, including the Netherlands, currently lack the resources to produce enough renewable energy to meet their needs. Even if we fill the entire North Sea with wind turbines, we will not be able meet future demand for green hydrogen. Therefore, in addition to locally produced hydrogen, importing renewable energy from areas where the wind blows hard and the sun shines bright, provides a solution and helps diversify energy sources and the security of supply. Air Products plans to import large quantities of energy from around the world, which includes the objective to supply green hydrogen to the Port of Rotterdam by 2027.”

Photo: Paul Hoogeveen of Air Products

From production to distribution to hydrogen fueling stations, Air Products delivers a complete service to its customers, offering a dependable supply of hydrogen, leading technology and equipment, and proven expertise. The company continues to drive innovation and sustainability with advanced technologies, which also enable others. For example, Air Products was the first liquefier for NASA and has been supplying and operating hydrogen refueling stations for more than 25 years.

Second liquefaction plant in Rotterdam

In September 2022, Air Products announced a second hydrogen liquefaction plant to be constructed in Rotterdam’s Botlek area, an industrial cluster within Rotterdam’s port area with a conglomerate of large industrial companies and logistics operations. The new plant should be operational in 2025 and will double the liquid hydrogen capacity of Europe, making it a major milestone and a great addition to Air Products’ hydrogen capacities in Europe. Hydrogen produced here will supply increased demands from high tech industries as well as the mobility market.

Current and future investments

Air Products’ expansion and investments in Rotterdam are logical, states Paul: “The energy transition in Rotterdam is in full swing. Rotterdam is Europe’s largest energy transit port with a high demand for hydrogen and the ambition to become Europe’s hydrogen hub. Moreover, the port area and its industry have an ambitious sustainability strategy with commitment to hydrogen production, transport infrastructure, import and applications in industry and transport. The city and port area offer strategic access for receiving renewable energy in the form of ammonia from locations operated by Air Products and its partners from projects around the world. Renewable hydrogen and ammonia will be processed and distributed to markets within Europe, including the Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium.”

More than just a business location

For Paul, Rotterdam is more than just the location of his company. “After travelling the world, Rotterdam has become my hometown for the last 20 years. It is an astonishingly action-packed and dynamic city, and for its relatively small size, well able to compete with any global city in terms of quality of life. If I can give newcomers or visitors one recommendation, a ‘must-do’, it would be to take a boat tour through the port area, which offers an amazing range of activities day and night.”


Photos: Air Products, Danny Cornelissen, Video Agency

My favourite venues (0)