Gasunie and Vopak join forces with HES to build Rotterdam ammonia import terminal

Dutch LNG terminal operators Gasunie and Vopak are joining forces with HES International to develop an import terminal for green ammonia as a hydrogen carrier in the Rotterdam port.

According to a joint statement on Monday, the cooperation is a response to growing demand for green hydrogen in the energy sector, the transport sector, and the petrochemical industry, both in the Netherlands and Germany.

The partners plan to start work this quarter on the basic design of the import terminal, while the facility, that would operate on the Maasvlakte under the name ACE Terminal, would start operations in 2026.

Gasunie and Vopak are already partners in the Dutch Gate LNG terminal in the port of Rotterdam.

At the intended location on Rotterdam’s Maasvlakte, vessels from all over the world can moor to discharge green ammonia, and in the initial phase possibly also blue ammonia, the statement said.

Use can be made of the existing infrastructure and the logistic facilities of the Rotterdam port, while the site offers space for the development of an installation for converting ammonia into hydrogen.

In the future, the partners would connect this installation to the national hydrogen network of Gasunie, that can serve the future hydrogen market in Northwestern Europe.

FID and contracts

On the Maasvlakte, HES already operates a strategic location with quayside capacity and direct access from the sea, and Gasunie has existing storage tanks and a system of pipelines.

Vopak, with six ammonia terminals around the world, has extensive experience in the safe storage of ammonia.

The partners said that they have still to take a final investment decision, based among others on customer contracts and the necessary permits, including the EIA procedure.

Moreover, the service proposition would entail an independent open access terminal infrastructure, in which the partners would not own the green ammonia, they said.

The three firms plan to launch a market consultation procedure “soon”, in which interested parties can announce their interest in the supply, storage and transshipment of green ammonia and hydrogen.

Also, the partners said they are already in initial discussions with international market parties.

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