Ireland’s largest bulk port Shannon Foynes and the Port of Rotterdam – Europe’s largest port – have signed an agreement with a view to developing a supply-chain corridor for exporting green fuels into Europe produced from the west of Ireland’s limitless wind resource.
The agreement will focus on market and trade development for vast volumes of green hydrogen and its derivatives produced at the planned international green energy hub on the Shannon Estuary.
The Memorandum of Understanding signed by the ports identifies significant and identified scale-up volumes of Green Hydrogen commencing with proof-of-concept volumes by 2030.
Europe’s overall green hydrogen strategy for 2030 is to import 10 million tonnes of renewable hydrogen by 2030 for use in heavy industry and transport sectors that are traditionally reliant on coal, natural gas, and oil. The Port of Rotterdam intends to facilitate volumes of 40 million tonnes from across the world by 2050, a significant proportion of which can come from the Atlantic resource.
Further opportunities will also be explored under the MOU, including building coalitions with interested and suitable commercial parties and adding other parties to the MOU to help achieve a joint supply chain process for delivering the first proof-of-concept volumes before 2030.
The MOU also provides for engaging relevant public stakeholders to support the initiative and sharing of information regarding the potential supply of green hydrogen and green hydrogen derivatives, such as green ammonia, green methanol, etc, as well as sharing best practice information on areas such as desalination, high voltage electricity, industrial clustering around the H2 molecule and green ship bunkering processes.
The two ports will also potentially work together on market development in this new market and jointly finding final off-takers for supplies from Ireland. These would include maritime fuels sector, sustainable aviation fuels, green fertilizer and facilities with direct green hydrogen fuel requirements such as the steel industry.
Mr. René van der Plas, Director International at the Port of Rotterdam said, “The port of Rotterdam is already Europe’s leading energy hub and recognises the significance and opportunity for all European citizens and industries arising from the Green Transition. To that end, hydrogen is one of our priorities and we are working hard towards establishing infrastructure, facilities and partnerships that will help deliver on this.
“This agreement with Shannon Foynes Port is one such partnership and can support our efforts to set up supply chain corridors for the import of Green Hydrogen into north-west Europe from countries elsewhere with high potential for green and low carbon hydrogen production. Shannon Foynes Port is an ideal partner in that respect.”
Mr Patrick Keating, CEO of Shannon Foynes Port Company said, “With the largest wind resource in Europe off our west coast, we have the opportunity to become Europe’s leading renewable energy generation hub. That will deliver transformational change for Ireland in terms of energy independence and an unprecedented economic gain in the process. In delivering on this, too, we can make our biggest ever contribution to the European project as we become a very significant contributor to REPowerEU, Europe’s plan to end reliance on fossil fuels.
“We can produce an infinite supply of renewable energy here and there are already a number of routes to market emerging for that energy. One such route to market is the development of a supply chain into Europe. This agreement with the Port of Rotterdam is a key step towards enabling that. The port of Rotterdam already works on introducing the fuels and feedstocks of the future with major oil and gas companies and its broader port community of over 3,000 commercial companies. It can be a key supply chain corridor for exporting green fuels from the Shannon Estuary into Europe. This is very significant recognition and validation of the potential for hydrogen production generated in Ireland to be exported into Europe.”
Mr. Brendan Rogers, Ambassador of Ireland to the Netherlands said, “What a great day as two major ports Rotterdam and Shannon Foynes sign an MOU to cooperate on green hydrogen, one of the key sustainable fuels for a carbon-free and renewable energy future for Ireland, the Netherlands and Europe.”