Dutch energy company Gasunie has begun work on the Netherlands’ planned hydrogen pipeline network.
King Willem-Alexander performed the opening ceremony in Rotterdam on Friday, at the building site of Gasunie subsidiary Hynetwork Services.
The aim is to complete the network in 2030 at a cost of around €1.5bn. The plan is to lay a loop of pipe around the country, with seven or so spurs off to storage caverns and North Sea platforms, as well as users in the Ruhr industrial area and Belgium.
The pipes for the first section are being installed by contractor Visser & Smit Hanab, which Gusunie says will use sustainable, zero-emission equipment to carry out the work.
This initial length will span 30km, from Rotterdam to the Tweede Maasvlakte industrial park. It is expected to be operational in 2025.
The national network will ultimately span 1,200km and consist largely of repurposed natural gas pipelines. It will link up large-scale hydrogen production facilities, import terminals at seaports, and companies in the Netherlands and abroad that have switched to hydrogen.
Gasunie chief executive Han Fennema said the programme was a “milestone in the transition to a more sustainable energy supply in the Netherlands and northwestern Europe”.
Rob Jetten, the minister for climate and energy policy, added that his government had “high hydrogen ambitions”, for which the national network was essential.