Industrial gases company Air Products announced today plans for Europe’s largest “blue hydrogen” plant, with a new state-of-the-art carbon capture and carbon dioxide treatment facility at its existing Rotterdam hydrogen production plant, to be built owned and operated by the company.

The facility is expected to be onstream in 2026, and will serve ExxonMobil’s Rotterdam refinery and additional customers via Air Products’ hydrogen pipeline network system. According to Air Products, project is being undertaken as part of long-term agreements with ExxonMobil and the Dutch State.

Edward Dekker Kleijn, Rotterdam Site Manager at ExxonMobil, said:

“We are pleased to build on our collaboration with Air Products to lower our environmental footprint. Carbon Capture and Storage is one of the critical technologies required to achieve the climate goals. This project is a great example of how industry works together to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the Rotterdam port area.”

Hydrogen is viewed as one of the key building blocks of the transition to a cleaner energy future, particularly for industrial and transport sectors with difficult to abate emissions, in which renewable energy solutions such as wind or solar are less practical.

Currently, the vast majority is extracted using fossil fuels, which create pollutants and GHG emissions. Blue hydrogen is produced by converting natural gas into hydrogen and CO2, which is then captured and permanently stored.

Under the new project, Air Products’ carbon capture retrofit will capture CO2 from the company’s existing hydrogen plant and ExxonMobil’s Rotterdam refinery, with the plant connected to Porthos, one of the world’s largest carbon transport and storage projects. Air Products and ExxonMobil are part of a consortium of companies, along with Shell and Air Liquide, selected by the Dutch government to participate in the Porthos project, which recently reached final investment decision approval.

Using the Porthos system, CO2 captured by the new facility will be transported to depleted gas fields in the North Sea, approximately 20 kilometers off the coast, where it will be permanently stored at a depth of more than three kilometers beneath the seabed.

Air Products Chief Operating Officer Dr. Samir J. Serhan, said:

“Air Products has been actively present and investing in Rotterdam for decades. Industrial companies here are continually looking for ways to realize synergies, create economies of scale, drive energy efficiencies and ultimately decarbonise. This project fulfils that demand. By sequestering CO2 through Porthos and bringing additional blue hydrogen to ExxonMobil and other customers, we can help generate a cleaner future.”