The official hydrogen event in Rotterdam spoke to the world’s hydrogen and energy leaders about the future outlook for the hydrogen industry, including the President Europe and Africa for Air Products, Ivo Bols.

What is Air Products’ most impactful hydrogen project? 

So, at the moment, for Air Products, obviously, as yesterday was testified by this World Hydrogen Summit Award ceremony is the Neom project. We execute the Neom project in the Gulf of Aqaba, Northwest of Saudi Arabia. 

Together with our partners, Acwa Power and Neom, and at the moment it is really the hallmark first mover and largest scale, fully integrated green hydrogen project executed in the world. 

To give you some dimension, it’s an investment of $5 billion dollars. It is using 4 gigawatts of electric power to produce 650 tons per day of green hydrogen for the world. Think of that as the equivalent to power 700,000 passenger cars to give you an idea, or to eliminate the emissions in the order of three million tons of CO2 every year. 

Is it an Air Products invention? 

No, it’s not our invention. It’s the combination and it is the partnership with many technology leaders to bring this together. Indeed, it is Air Products with its partners Acwa power and Neom that create the project. 

But in this project, for example, we rely on the technology expertise of key European industrial players like ThyssenKrupp for the electrolyzer offering or Holder Topsoe, for the ammonia cycle because as you may know, the Neom project is focusing on exporting that green hydrogen to different regions in the world, and in order to do so in an efficient and low carbon way we will convert that hydrogen to ammonia, which is a very efficient carrier of the hydrogen energy. 

What are the priorities in order to develop a hydrogen economy? 

Yeah, so first of all for us as I illustrated on the Neom project, a lot of it is around partnering and collaborating. Industry and policymakers and governments to bring together what is required to kick off this ecosystem that will allow us to transition to a greener, low carbon or net zero economy.  

Air Products is fully subscribed to those ambitions. Actually,moving to a green economy energy transition and sustainability is key to the strategy of the company. In fact, it is the company’s growth strategy. And in that we really look out to the partners in industry to work with, but also to governments to facilitate a number of things. 

First of all, to make sure that this hydrogen can play its role to its full extent in the future green energy mix. That requires certification. Certification saying that all sources of hydrogen can be used equally in a level play field within the different economies. 

Another part is clearly that industries have to take the responsibility and provide the expertise they have to operate hydrogen systems and logistic chains safely and Air Products is one of those companies that has proven to do so for more than 60 years. 

Going forward of course the end goal remains. It is converting end-users from their carbon-based energy sources to new green energy and the use and the application of hydrogen. And there again we can contribute as air products. We have multiple applications around a broad spectrum of industry applications, but as I indicated as well, the use of hydrogen in transportation and in the greening up of big sectors that today are seen as very hard to abate 

What is your biggest take away from this World Hydrogen Summit & Exhibition? 

Well, I think it’s first of all, it’s great to have this type of event meeting people face to face. 

There’s been a lot of energy around virtual platforms, but I think speaking to the people here, everyone will recognize that is not the same and hydrogen needs this personal engagement of people that want to step forward that want to be joining the first movers to develop this hydrogen economy. Personal contact, sharing the risks and sharing the knowledge will basically put these first steps in place to make the hydrogen economy real. At the same time of course, you have a number of very distinguished speakers from the EU and from the national government, in this case the Dutch Government with clear policy lines, with clear goals that indeed we as an industry want to embrace and we want to support. 

So, I believe we are on a good trajectory. First movers are putting their own money at risk to make this hydrogen economy work, governments now need to join us and accelerate the base with which they bring in the supportive certification and the supportive incentive schemes together to make this a real contributor to a green future. 

So, greening up our economies, greening up transportation sector is what we subscribe to and what we believe in as a company. 

Produced by the Sustainable Energy Council in partnership with the Port of Rotterdam, the City of Rotterdam and the Province of Zuid Holland, the global event welcomes 8000 industry professionals, 170+ Speakers, 350 Exhibitors and 50 sponsors to share latest news, establish key connections and sign business deals to accelerate the deployment of the hydrogen economy. Register your place among hydrogen pioneers:

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