Scotland-Rotterdam hydrogen transport project advances

Isbel Lázaro.

proyecto de transporte de hidrógeno

Inspenet, December 4, 2023.

The consortium supporting the Transport of Hydrogen from Scotland (LHyTS) project, aimed at establishing a hydrogen export route from Scotland to Rotterdam using a liquid organic hydrogen carrier (LOHC), has completed engineering studies aimed at carry out a pilot project that serves as a precursor to large-scale export.

Launched in late 2022, the LHyTS project involves an international consortium including Axens, Chiyoda, EnQuest, ERM, Koole Terminals, the Port of Rotterdam, the Scottish Government, Shetland Islands Council, Storegga and the Net Zero Technology Center (NZTC). The main objective of the project is to demonstrate the feasibility of the successful transport of LOHC, in the form of methylcyclohexane (MCH) at scale, thus establishing an export route to the port of Rotterdam and other European destinations.

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As part of the initial phase of the LHyTS project, a study of options for the large scale hydrogen transportation, concluding that liquid organic hydrogen carriers (LOHC) represent a viable solution to transport large quantities of hydrogen, presenting several advantages over other forms of transport, such as ammonia, methanol or liquid hydrogen.

Following this evaluation, it was recommended to advance to the second phase of the project to conduct a more detailed feasibility study and develop a complete and robust plan to carry out a full industrial scale trial. A detailed report on the feasibility study has been recently published, highlighting that the trial involves shipping a substantial volume of LOHC by sea between two ports, with St. Fergus via Peterhead and/or Sullom Voe Terminal in Scotland, and the import port in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

The test for hydrogen transport

The proposed trial will consist of the production, storage and loading of hydrogenated LOHC at the export terminal. In this phase, the LOHC would be loaded onto a coastal tanker at a product jetty and transported by sea to the import terminal. At the import terminal, the LOHC would be unloaded at a jetty and transferred to storage tanks. Subsequently, when required, the LOHC will be supplied to an end user via a pipeline and to a process unit that will release the hydrogen from the LOHC as required. The extracted hydrogen gas is expected to be used by the end user, possibly for industrial or transportation applications.

According to the report, this phase has confirmed that there are no technical barriers to implementing methylcyclohexane (MCH) as a hydrogen carrier in order to export hydrogen from Scotland to Rotterdam. This suggests that in the third phase more optimizations can be achieved, thus allowing the realization of a pilot project towards the year 2030.

Analysis of the SVT and St Fergus/Peterhead port facilities has confirmed the feasibility of exporting hydrogen from Scotland to the Netherlands using LOHC at these ports. By assessing both small and large scale export scenarios, the study has provided a comprehensive view of the hydrogen production infrastructure and capabilities needed to establish a technically and economically viable solution.

As for the next step in the LHyTS project, the third planning phase will involve discussions and actions related to the identification of potential hydrogen buyers. This process will play a critical role in the project’s progress to the next stages.

Where is the port of Rotterdam located?

The Port of Rotterdam is located in the city of the same name in the Netherlands and is the largest seaport in Europe. Although from 1962 to 2004 it held the title of the busiest port in the world, it is currently surpassed by the Port of Singapore and later by the Port of Shanghai.

In 2011, it ranked as the eleventh largest container port in terms of twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) handled and in 2012 it ranked sixth in terms of cargo tons. This port covers an area of ​​105 km² and extends over 40 km, including various port areas.

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