Elektrification – impactstory SmartPort

Elektrification – impactstory SmartPort

3 Jun 2019 | Impactstory, Impactstory - Smart Energy, Impactverhaal – Smart Energy

Developing a more sustainable port

In the series of impact stories from SmartPort; driver of port innovation

A drastic reduction of CO₂ in the port of Rotterdam is needed. A major challenge for Europe’s largest petrochemical cluster. In order to reduce CO₂ electrification technologies must be ready for commercial use by 2030 as a replacement for production based on gas, coal and oil. Large-scale electrification makes the Rotterdam port-industrial complex more sustainable and provides the necessary flexibility and stability in the new energy system. Check out the animation about Elektrification.

Since 2016, SmartPort has been committed to boosting and broadening this innovation in collaboration with businesses and academia. “The information we have gathered from previous studies together with knowledge institutions and companies is very useful in the further steps that are now being taken. Electrification and the strength of the energy and chemical cluster in the port help to accelerate the energy transition. The SmartPort projects have not only contributed to getting the facts & figures on the table, but above all to creating more understanding and new ties between the participants”, says Wilco van der Lans of the Port of Rotterdam Authority.

Circularity enhances electrification
In 2016, the main question focused on forming the most effective scenarios to reduce CO. Commissioned by the Port of Rotterdam Authority and SmartPort, the Wuppertal Institute has delivered three scenarios that can achieve a 75-98% CO reduction in 2050. One of the conclusions was that electrification can make a significant contribution to making the Rotterdam Port Industrial complex more sustainable.

Companies in the port of Rotterdam produce the basis for products that we all use every day, such as bottles, clothing, fuel and electronics. Hydrogen and carbon are the main ingredients of these products, which are now produced from gas, coal and oil. To produce these products in a cleaner, climate-neutral way, a new method of production is needed. For example, hydrogen can be produced by electricity (electrification) and carbon can be captured from the air or from existing processes.

Rotterdam: the place for a clean, integrated chemical cluster
In 2017, the consortium approached BP, Joulz, Uniper and the Port of Rotterdam Authority SmartPort with this question; What is the value case of green hydrogen production? SmartPort has commissioned this research – called Power-2-Gas-2-Refineries – at TNO. The study shows that installing a 20MW electrolyser can already save 30 ktonnes of CO per year. In comparison: a large refinery needs about 1GW of hydrogen, which means that upscaling green hydrogen production can potentially save a lot of CO.

In the words of the consortium: “This project, in which green hydrogen is made by electrolysis of wind peaks, pushes the port of Rotterdam towards a sustainable future.” Following up on this value case and based on the ambition to scale up, BP & Nouryon signed the MOU in the spring of 2018 for the construction of a 250MW electrolyser.