Recap World Hydrogen: big buzz going on!
Nearly 10,000 people from around the world gathered for the most important gathering in the world in hydrogen world : the Hydrogen Summit in Rotterdam , “In our exhibition announcement, I mentioned that I saw this participation as a great adventure, and it truly was a journey of discovery!” said Rob Derix from Antonius. What did I discover? Read the key findings in this recap of World Hydrogen 2023.
Hydrogen: ready, set, and go!
Aside from meeting numerous clients and prospects, there were interesting conversations going on and a lot of speakers and symposia. Everyone agrees that we are at the starting line, and the next few years are going to be exciting. Many transition projects are in the pipeline, and once they take off, we need to work hard. Every participant in the value chain will contribute to this ecosystem where we play a role in storage. Collaboration is crucial within this huge ecosystem, as the speed of progress will be determined by the slowest participant.
Partnerships: building together
In the announcement for World Hydrogen 2023, I already emphasized the importance of partnerships, and that ambition – or rather, necessity – to collaborate has been confirmed. Given the scale and complexity of the projects, we truly need each other.
Production capacity will be scarce within a timeframe of 1 to 2 years. A typical buyer- supplier relationship won’t be the structure for this future. A collaboration of an engineering firm, a contractor and a supply chain of key suppliers needs to be forged, better sooner than later. Otherwise projects get stuck because there is no engineering or production capacity left. Now is the time to build the ecosystems of production.
Hydrogen: where do we stand now?
Major players like Shell and TNO are developing business cases, sharing a common belief with many others. Within a few years, numerous hydrogen, energy storage, and much more carbon capture projects will be operational. The question is, where will this industry develop the fastest? We see significant activities in the USA, with the Inflation Reduction Act investing heavily in hydrogen and carbon capture. While the USA is a market on its own, Europe doesn’t want to lag behind and is also fully committed to innovation. In Europe, I believe we will always strive for more collaboration, seeking partnerships not only with the USA but also with other countries. For Antonius, as we are heavily involved in tank construction, also the maritime industry will be a major driver.
Technology, safety, and sustainability
At World Hydrogen, it became clear that the technology is not yet exactly determined. How will we generate and transport hydrogen? What infrastructure is needed, and what should we build? What about safety? These are all business cases currently under development. The need for tanks is certain, and that’s where we come into action! Carbon capture and hydrogen will go hand in hand. Think of industries with significant CO2 emissions, such as cement and fertilizer production. There’s already considerable focus on capturing CO2, and these are precisely the sectors making significant strides and investments towards the use of cleaner hydrogen.
I had an interesting conversation with one of our booth visitors who said, “Just five minutes ago, the people walking here were all oil and gas folks, and now they’re into hydrogen. If people in the fossil fuel sector didn’t fully grasp what is about to happen, this exhibition certainly gave them the final push.”
I witnessed first-hand what lies ahead, and I want to reiterate the call for dialogue and conversation. Partnerships are fundamental to our progress, and I’m waiting for your email or phone call: Let’s build together!
Rob Derix – Director Antonius