Industrial gases company Air Products today announced plans for Europe’s largest ‘blue hydrogen’ plant, with a new state-of-the-art carbon dioxide capture and treatment facility at its existing hydrogen production plant in Rotterdam, to be built owned and operated by the company.
The facility is expected to be operational in 2026 and will serve ExxonMobil’s Rotterdam refinery and other customers via Air Products’ hydrogen pipeline network system. According to Air Products, the project is being implemented as part of long-term agreements with ExxonMobil and the Dutch state.
Edward Dekker Kleijn, Rotterdam location manager at ExxonMobil, said:
“We are pleased to build on our partnership with Air Products to reduce our environmental footprint. Carbon capture and storage is one of the crucial technologies needed to achieve climate goals. This project is a good example of how the industry works together to reduce CO2 emissions in the Rotterdam port area.”
Hydrogen is seen as one of the key building blocks of the transition to a cleaner energy future, especially for industrial and transport sectors with difficult to reduce emissions, where sustainable energy solutions such as wind and solar energy are less practical.
Currently, the vast majority is extracted using fossil fuels, which produce pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions. Blue hydrogen is produced by converting natural gas into hydrogen and CO2, which is then captured and permanently stored.
Under the new project, Air Products’ carbon capture retrofit will capture CO2 from the company’s existing hydrogen plant and ExxonMobil’s refinery in Rotterdam, with the plant connected to Porthos, one of the world’s largest carbon transport and -storage. Air Products and ExxonMobil, together with Shell and Air Liquide, are part of a consortium of companies selected by the Dutch government to participate in the Porthos project, which recently received final investment decision approval.
Using the Porthos system, the CO2 captured by the new facility will be transported to depleted gas fields in the North Sea, approximately 20 kilometers offshore, where it will be permanently stored at a depth of more than three kilometers below the seabed.
Air Products Chief Operating Officer Dr. Samir J. Serhan said:
“Air Products has been actively present and investing in Rotterdam for decades. Industrial companies here are constantly looking for ways to realize synergies, create economies of scale, drive energy efficiency and ultimately decarbonize. This project meets that demand. By storing CO2 through Porthos and bringing additional blue hydrogen to ExxonMobil and other customers, we can help create a cleaner future.”