Western Australia and the Netherlands to collaborate on hydrogen exports

Out-Law News | 14 Dec 2021 | 2:32 am | 1 min. read

Western Australia’s (WA) state government and the port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands have signed a deal to build up a green hydrogen export supply chain.

According to an announcement by WA state government, the two sides will work together to review the green hydrogen export supply chain between WA and Rotterdam including production, storage, transport and potential uses of renewable hydrogen.

They will also collaborate to share knowledge in relation to policy, regulation and technology development.

Varma George

George Varma

Partner

The development of trading relationships with countries in Europe has the potential to expand Australia’s hydrogen export market dramatically.

The deal “builds on work underway” by the WA state government and the port, according to the announcement. It is estimated that by 2050, 20 million tonnes of hydrogen will be handled in Rotterdam per year, of which 90% will be imported. 

Hydrogen expert George Varma of Pinsent Masons said: “Strategic alliances such as these will help accelerate the growth trajectory of the Western Australian hydrogen market as both domestic and international participants can see the pipeline of export opportunities, as well as the potential to develop green hydrogen projects in a region so rich in natural resources. The development of trading relationships with countries in Europe has the potential to expand Australia’s hydrogen export market dramatically.”

Currently, 13% of the EU’s total energy demand enters the EU via the port of Rotterdam. This energy will gradually shift from fossil fuels to green energy, according to port of Rotterdam CEO Allard Castelein.

Castelein said the local conditions in WA including the amount of sunshine, wind, availability of space and investment climate can “lead to a competitive hydrogen product delivered to the northwest European market”. Hydrogen energy will be distributed to the northwest European market via Rotterdam's terminals and existing hydrogen infrastructure.

Earlier this month, the WA state government announced up to A$117.5 million (US$84m) in investment to set up two hydrogen hubs in the Pilbara and the Mid-West regions of the state.