Energy infrastructure company Gasunie and Dutch tank terminals group Vopak are teaming up to develop hydrogen imports for Europe.

The two companies said the idea is to establish future terminal projects at Dutch and German ports.

Gasunie and Vopak already cooperate at the Gate LNG facility in Port of Rotterdam that came into operation in 2011.

They believe that, alongside domestic production of hydrogen, large-scale import of the green gas will become essential for reaching the European Green Deal and the Fit for 55 decarbonisation targets.

The first import streams to Germany and the Netherlands are expected by 2025, the companies said.

“Global supply chains and logistics infrastructure need to be developed and operated to facilitate the import of green hydrogen required for the energy and feedstock transition,” they added.

Infrastructure will include storage facilities, to enable further distribution via vessels and pipelines.

Both parties have a long track record in developing infrastructure and safely storing and handling these types of products, they said.

They will make the terminal technology “open access” for all market players.

Work begins in Rotterdam

In April, Gasunie, Vopak and bulk terminal operator HES International began work on an import terminal for green ammonia in the port of Rotterdam.

This will be called ACE Terminal.

Ulco Vermeulen, director of business development at Gasunie, said: “Our joint goal is to enable the international hydrogen value chain by providing the necessary import infrastructure.”

“With this agreement, Vopak and Gasunie can play a role in the transport, storage and import as part of the international hydrogen value chain,” he added.

In December, Vopak moved into shipowning by taking a big stake in the world’s largest floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU).

The company agreed to buy 49.99% of Japanese group Mitsui OSK Lines’ 263,000-cbm MOL FSRU Challenger (built 2017).

The vessel is being renamed Bauhinia Spirit for a new port project being built in Hong Kong.