Ghent, the future reference for hydrogen?
This is the goal of the North Sea Port of Ghent.
Versatile, multimodal and with plenty of space for development, the North Sea Port wants to position itself as the new European hydrogen hub! Resulting from the merger between the Belgian port of Ghent and the Dutch ports of Terneuzen and Vlissingen, it covers an area of some 60 kilometres and passes through Belgium and the Netherlands. The industrial estate is already the largest hydrogen hub in Benelux, but it intends to go much further and has already developed a strategy in this sense.
According to the port company, the demand for sustainable hydrogen as a raw material and fuel will continue to grow, especially in sectors such as steel, chemicals, refining, aluminium, food, transportation and construction. The aim of this new strategy is to meet this demand whilst also meeting climate requirements.
Indeed, the hydrogen currently produced and consumed at the North Sea Port is "grey hydrogen", which means that it is made from natural gas and its production emits CO2. Green hydrogen, on the other hand, is produced from renewable energies: the electricity produced by wind turbines or solar panels is converted, along with water, by an electrolysis process, which emits very little carbon, if any at all.
By 2050, these emissions must be reduced to zero but, at the same time, local demand is expected to have doubled. To address this, several green hydrogen production plants should be built by 2025 meaning that production will be moving up a gear. Ambitious goals for the port of Ghent.