H-vision: making the port of Rotterdam more sustainable with blue hydrogen

02 Jul 2019

Industry in the port of Rotterdam will accelerate the energy transition. By producing blue hydrogen on a large scale and applying it in industrial processes. As a result, CO2 emissions could be reduced by at least two and possibly even seven megatons before 2030. This is the result of a feasibility study for which TNO provided the technological support.

Read the H-VISION report of TNO and partners


The H-vision study was presented on 2 July by Cis Marring, member of the TO Executive Board and Steven Lak, chairman of the board of Deltalinqs to Minister Wiebes, Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy. The initiative to switch to blue hydrogen was conceived and developed by TNO for a number of years under the leadership of Deltalinqs, which represents some 700 companies in the main port of Rotterdam, including BP, Shell and Uniper. Together with the other sixteen participating companies, they see blue hydrogen as a real opportunity to make their processes more sustainable. The plans will not only accelerate the energy transition but also pave the way for green hydrogen from the sun and wind, which will no longer produce any CO2 at all. The blue variant is a necessary intermediate step towards that future.

Smart links

H-vision's plans are closely linked to other major initiatives in the port of Rotterdam, such as the Porthos project and the North Sea Energy programme initiated by TNO. Both provide for the creation of smart connections between offshore wind energy and gas infrastructures. At the moment, industry is using a lot of hydrogen, especially for high-temperature processes, by burning natural gas. In the plans the CO2 that is released is captured and transported to depleted gas fields under the North Sea. The resulting CO2-free blue hydrogen can be used for heavy industrial processes and the production of electricity.

Future-proof investments

The study shows that switching to blue hydrogen is a technically and economically feasible option. However, government and industry will need to invest heavily in new infrastructure and the conversion of existing installations. Hydrogen plants will be built on the Maasvlakte to serve all companies in the vast port area via a pipeline system that is yet to be constructed. The total cost is estimated at around two billion euros.

This investment is future-proof because the port will soon be fully equipped for green hydrogen produced from solar and offshore wind. This will enable Rotterdam to develop into a key European hub where sustainable hydrogen is produced, applied and traded, also strengthening the port's international competitive position.
Our work

H-vision: blue hydrogen to accelerate carbon-low industry

Industry in the Rotterdam port area has strong ambitions to become more sustainable. By 2025, it aims to reduce CO2 emissions by two megatons through the use of CO2 capture and storage, rising to at least... Read more

Dr. ir. René Peters

  • Hydrogen
  • Gas
  • LNG
  • Transition
  • Offshore Energy

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