NortH2 is a consortium made up of Equinor, Gasunie, Groningen Seaports, RWE and Shell Nederland, and it is backed by the Groningen provincial authority. We are jointly investigating the feasibility of large-scale production, storage and transmission of green hydrogen for industrial clusters in north-western Europe.
Gasunie is an energy network operator. In the Netherlands and the northern part of Germany, we manage and maintain the infrastructure for large-scale transport and storage of gas. At the moment, this is mainly natural gas, but the energy transition will increasingly bring about a shift towards green gas and hydrogen. We also collaborate in the construction and management of heat and CO2 grids. We ensure that this segment of the energy supply is safe, reliable and as sustainable as possible, ensuring that everyone has access to energy, always.
Han Fennema (CEO): ‘We know that hydrogen will play an indispensable role in achieving Dutch and European climate goals. The use of hydrogen drastically reduces carbon emissions, thus creating a more sustainable living environment. In the development of the hydrogen supply chain, we will be transporting the green hydrogen to all the important industrial areas in the Netherlands and on the other side of the border. And we can furthermore store hydrogen in our Zuidwending gas storage facility. Decarbonising the energy supply on a large scale is in keeping with our social duty. It is our future. Together with our partners, we will spare no effort to make this happen. Hydrogen brings new energy for the Netherlands and Europe, driving new economic activity and creating new jobs.’
Groningen Seaports manages, develops and operates the ports of Delfzijl and Eemshaven, as well as the adjacent industrial parks. A large number of the dozens of hydrogen projects that are currently under development in the north-western corner of the Netherlands will be based in these two ports. These projects include the building of hydrogen plants, developing the hydrogen backbone, and the construction and maintenance of offshore wind farms. Here in the north of the Netherlands is where everything comes together in terms of hydrogen infrastructure. Ample space at sea for wind turbines, Gasunie’s gas grid that can be used to transport hydrogen, underground storage capacity in the Zuidwending salt caverns, locations for electrolysers, and it is home to several potential high-volume consumers of green hydrogen. This is what makes this area so unique and suitable for this development. NortH2 furthermore ties in seamlessly with Groningen Seaports’ long-standing green ambitions.
Cas König (CEO): ‘In the far north of the Netherlands, we are already actively working on greening industry for the future. A considerable number of all industrial parties in the Delfzijl area, for example, already uses hydrogen, and construction of Europe’s largest green hydrogen plant in our port is close to getting under way. It allows industry in our region to go significantly green and creates scope for companies to keep growing, which also further strengthens our standing as a knowledge hub. Green industry in the north also contributes tangibly to the Netherlands’ climate targets for 2030. Our aim is to build Europe’s largest green hydrogen supply chain with the north of the Netherlands at its centre.’
Shell is an international energy company that aims to meet the world’s growing need for more and cleaner energy solutions in ways that are economically, environmentally and socially responsible. Shell has set itself an ambition to become a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050 or sooner.’
Marjan van Loon (President Director, Shell Netherlands): “Together, we are pursuing an ambition to make the Netherlands a global leader in the field of hydrogen. At the same time, we are contributing to achieving the targets set out in the Dutch Climate Agreement and the European Green Deal, and we are accelerating the energy transition. This project offers opportunities all along the hydrogen supply chain. Moreover, it fits in well with our ambitions regarding new energy. We want to find new ways to reduce carbon emissions and deliver more – and cleaner – energy at home, on the road and at work. To realise this project, we need new partners. To bring together all the available knowledge and expertise required we need to pioneer and innovate together. The energy transition requires guts, decisiveness and action.”
Equinor is a broad energy company with 21,000 colleagues committed to developing energy from oil, gas, wind and solar in more than 30 countries worldwide. Equinor is building material offshore wind clusters in the UK, the US North East and in the Baltic Sea. Our experience along with our position as one of the world’s largest offshore wind farm operators align perfectly with the NortH2 project. We are headquartered in Stavanger, Norway.
Anders Opedal (CEO):“This is a groundbreaking project and one that Equinor would like to contribute to. This project will play an important role in our transition to a broad energy company. Our goal is to be fully carbon neutral by 2050. Hydrogen will play a crucial role in the energy market’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions and become energy neutral. It plays an important role in the energy transition, especially in sectors where reducing carbon emissions is difficult because they do not work with electricity.”
For over 120 years, RWE has been supplying reliable energy to people and companies – day and night. For many people, electricity is a given. They think it is always waiting in a socket to be used. And so it is, because energy producers such as RWE make sure of that – with clean, safe, and affordable power.
Groningen provincial authority
The Groningen provincial authority envisions an important role for green hydrogen as a fuel and feedstock for the greening of the chemical industry. It is also an essential element in the energy transition (for the storage and transmission of energy).
The Groningen provincial authority has everything needed for a hydrogen ecosystem:
- It is strategically located close to the sea where sustainable energy (offshore wind) can be generated for the production of hydrogen.
- It is the starting point of the north-western European natural gas network (offering storage possibilities as well).
- There is a great deal of knowledge of energy in the region, both in public institutions (like the university) and in companies.
- The industry cluster has large customers for energy and hydrogen.
- The government is ready to seize economic opportunities: following the natural gas era, Groningen wants to remain an important player in the field of energy (also with a view to employment).
Where appropriate and possible, the Groningen provincial authority supports projects and initiatives such as NortH2 that promote the green hydrogen economy. We do this by having a clear ambition for a green hydrogen ecosystem and by speaking out publicly about our efforts in this area, among other things. The provincial government sees it as its task to connect parties. This may involve bringing together various initiatives, but also connecting initiatives with other levels of government (Dutch central government and European).