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New Air Products factory fits within long-term development for industry

The Port of Rotterdam is extremely pleased with the opening of the new Air Products hydrogen factory in the Botlek. “Hydrogen is needed in the production of cleaner, low-sulphur fuels. The new Air Products factory is larger and more efficient than the existing one. This means that the factory will deliver an essential contribution to the further modernisation and sustainability of the Rotterdam industrial complex, as articulated in the Port Vision 2030”, says Hans Smits, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority.

Hydrogen has various applications. Presently, an important one is that hydrogen is needed to de-sulphurise fuels. Oil companies are investing in cleaner production processes because of more stringent environmental requirements. The cleaner fuels ensure that the emission of sulphur dioxide by vehicle and ship engines, for example, is reduced. In addition, hydrogen is an important raw material in the chemical industry. Finally, it is seen by many as the fuel of the future.

The now opened hydrogen factory cost approximately €200 million and was constructed in the very short time of just one-and-a-half years. The factory is situated in the grounds of the ExxonMobil refinery in the Botlek but can also supply hydrogen to other companies in the port area via pipeline. The new factory uses raw materials originating from ExxonMobil and, in addition to hydrogen, also delivers steam to the refinery. This makes it a good example of co-siting: by situating companies that need each other’s raw materials or products close to each other, the production chains are kept as short and efficient as possible, ensuring greater delivery assurance.

The now opened hydrogen factory produces 50% more hydrogen than the old Air Products factory in Pernis, which it replaces. The new factory is some 15% more energy-efficient in the production of hydrogen and is also capture ready, which means that a unit for capturing CO2 can be added to the factory relatively easily.

In addition to Air Products, Air Liquide in Rotterdam also produces hydrogen on a large scale.

Source: Port of Rotterdam