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THE Western Australian government has signed a memorandum of understanding with Europe’s largest port, Port of Rotterdam, to co-operate on renewable hydrogen supply chains.

The two parties are to work together to investigate production, storage, transport and the use of renewable hydrogen.

The state government and the Port of Rotterdam will also collaborate on opportunities for knowledge sharing relating to policy, regulation and technology developments.

Port of Rotterdam CEO Allard Castelein said 13% of the total energy demand of the European Union enters the bloc via the Port of Rotterdam.

“This energy will gradually shift from fossil to green energy. We estimate that by 2050, 20 million tons of hydrogen will be handled in Rotterdam annually, of which 90% will be through imports. The Port of Rotterdam is pro-actively trying to facilitate this shift by stimulating the development of new international supply chains of hydrogen,” Mr Castelein said.

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“Although the distance between Australia and Europe may seem far, the excellent local conditions such as the amount of sunshine, wind, availability of space and investment climate in Western Australia can lead to a competitive hydrogen product delivered to the north-west European market.

“This new energy from down under, distributed via Rotterdam’s terminals and hydrogen backbone, could further help decarbonise Europe’s industries and society as a whole. This is important to both stop climate change as well as for the long-term sustainability of businesses and the economy.”

WA hydrogen industry minister Alannah MacTiernan said the state government is committed to ensuring the state becomes a global supplier of renewable hydrogen.

“We have already committed $160 million to support the development of a renewable hydrogen industry in Western Australia, including the $117.5 million announced last week to attract federal funding for renewable hydrogen hubs in the Pilbara and Mid-West,” she said.

“Through this MOU we will gain a better understanding of the hydrogen export supply chain between Western Australia and the Port of Rotterdam, and what we need to do to make sure the state is an exporter of choice for Europe.”

The ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Australia Marion Derckx congratulated WA and the Port of Rotterdam on their collaboration.

“International collaboration is the key to accelerating the transition to a carbon neutral energy future. The joint work to be undertaken by Western Australia and the Port of Rotterdam to develop the supply chain for green hydrogen will benefit both countries greatly,” she said.

“For Western Australia, it reaffirms their status as a major global energy provider, and it reconfirms and strengthens the function of Rotterdam and the Netherlands as gateway to Europe. This co-operation will deepen and expand the extensive business ties between Dutch and Western Australian companies.”

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