NortH2 is a consortium made up of Equinor, Gasunie, Groningen Seaports, RWE and Shell Nederland, and it is backed by the Groningen provincial authority. Together, we have set our sights on large-scale green hydrogen production using offshore wind power.
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 launching an ambition that puts the Netherlands at the forefront of hydrogen globally. In addition, it contributes to achieving the objectives of the Dutch Climate Accord, the EU’s Green Deal and accelerates the energy transition. This project offers opportunities throughout the entire hydrogen chain. In addition, it fits well with our New Energies aspirations and our ambitions to find new ways to reduce CO2 emissions and deliver more and cleaner energy, at home, on the go and at work. In order to realise this project, we will need several new partners. Together we will have to pioneer and innovate to bring together all the available knowledge and skills that are required. The energy transition calls for guts, boldness, and action.”
Equinor is a broad energy company with 21,000 colleagues committed to developing oil, gas, wind, and solar energy 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, and the NortH2 fits well with Equinor’s experience and position as one of the world’s largest offshore wind operators. Our headquarters are in Stavanger, Norway.
“This is a groundbreaking project that Equinor is looking forward to contributing to. It will be an important part of our transition becoming a broad energy company with our goal to become carbon neutral by 2050. Hydrogen will be key to decarbonization and net zero efforts for the energy market and an important part of the energy transition, especially in otherwise hard to abate sectors which cannot be served by electricity” says Equinor CEO, Anders Opedal.”
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 province of Groningen sees an important role for green hydrogen as fuel and feedstock for greening the chemical industry, and as an essential puzzle piece in the energy transition (storage and transport of energy). All elements for kickstarting the green hydrogen ecosystem are present in the province of Groningen:
- Strategic seaside location for the production of sustainable energy (offshore wind) for the production of hydrogen;
- The Northwest European natural gas network starts here (incl. storage possibilities);
- There is a great deal of knowledge in the field of energy available in the area, both at public institutions (eg University) as well as companies;
- Large energy and hydrogen users present in the industry cluster;
- Governmental willingness to seize economic opportunities: Groningen wants to remain an important player in the energy domain in the post-natural gas era (also for employment).
Where appropriate and possible, the Province of Groningen supports projects and initiatives that further the green hydrogen economy, such as NortH2. We do this, among other things, by establishing a clear ambition for a green hydrogen ecosystem, and by speaking out publicly on our commitments. The province sees it as her role to connect parties. For example between different initiatives, but also between initiatives and other government layers (eg central government and Europe).