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Cepsa to supply green ammonia to Rotterdam port

Spain's Cepsa signed a deal on Monday with three Dutch companies to supply green ammonia to a terminal in the port of Rotterdam, confirming an earlier Reuters report, in the latest boost to the nascent technology Europe is hoping can lower its emissions.

Green ammonia, which is produced using hydrogen made from renewable energy, in turn can play a role in transporting green hydrogen as a solution to decarbonizing industry.

The technology has yet to be tested at scale, but that could change with Monday's deal as the huge, strategically-located port of Rotterdam is targeting 4.6 megatons of hydrogen by 2030.

Cepsa's agreement is with private firms HES International, Gasunie Waterstof Holding and Vopak LNG. The Dutch firms are developing the ACE terminal in Rotterdam, which will be Europe's largest for green ammonia.

The companies did not give any financial details.

While the Netherlands is investing heavily in hydrogen infrastructure to replace natural gas, Spain is also keen to become a major player in the fuel and can provide supplies to supplement Dutch output.

"We won't be able to produce enough green electrons and green molecules for the northwestern industry, so we also need Spain and Portugal to become our main suppliers, Dutch Minister for Climate and Energy Rob Jetten said.

He said the countries would work closely to establish a marine corridor and would deliver that in three years' time.

Cepsa's Chief Executive Officer Maarten Wetselaar, who is Dutch, said in a statement that the "alliance makes the green hydrogen corridor a tangible reality and increases the international potential of the Andalusian Green Hydrogen Valley."

ACE Terminal Project Director Egbert Vrijen said in a statement he hoped more parties in addition to Cepsa would join "our open access ammonia/hydrogen import terminal".

Ammonia is widely used to make agricultural fertilizers.

Green ammonia, as opposed to that created using fossil fuels, can be made by using hydrogen from water electrolysis and nitrogen separated from the air.

Cepsa aims to start the first green hydrogen exports from Spain in 2027 and the scope of the agreement will cover sustainable marine fuels and hydrogen as an end product, the Spanish company said.

Cepsa is planning to invest 3 billion euros ($3.3 billion) in green hydrogen projects in southern Spain. 

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