Gunvor Lets Contract For Proposed Rotterdam Hydrogen Terminal
09.19.2022 By Ella Keskin - NEWS

September 19, 2022 [Oil and Gas Journal] –  Gunvor Petroleum Rotterdam has let a contract to McDermott International to provide FEED services for a proposed green hydrogen import terminal project at GPR’s 149-hectacre site at the Port of Rotterdam, in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.


Gunvor Petroleum Rotterdam BV (GPR), a subsidiary of Gunvor Group Ltd., Geneva, has let a contract to McDermott International Ltd. to provide a front-end engineering design (FEED) services for a proposed green hydrogen import terminal project at GPR’s 149-hectacre site at the Port of Rotterdam, in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, which houses the operator’s 75,000-b/d fuels-finishing refinery and supporting product distribution network.

As part of the September 2022 contract, McDermott-owned CB&I will deliver FEED on the project’s ammonia tank and associated inside battery limits (ISBL) equipment, with supporting FEED activities to be provided directly by McDermott for an interconnecting pipeline, tie-ins, and other outside battery limits (OSBL) installations, the service provider said in a release.

Scope of the FEED contract also covers development of a project execution cost estimate as basis for a potential conversion into an engineering, construction, and procurement (EPC) contract for the implementation phase, McDermott said.

While McDermott did not reveal a value of the contract, the service provider confirmed the FEED award follows the firm’s successful completion of the feasibility study for the proposed green hydrogen import terminal in 2021.

Award of the FEED contract comes in the wake of GPR’s late-June 2022 signing of a joint development agreement with Air Products Inc. to cooperate on the Rotterdam import terminal that, if completed, would receive shipments of green ammonia from Air Products and its global partners for conversion into green hydrogen necessary to help the European Union (EU) meet accelerating demand for greenhouse gas (GHG)-reducing energy sources in line with the global energy transition and climate targets, the companies said in a June 28 joint release.

GPR and Air Products said they plan to reach final investment decision (FID) on the proposed import terminal projects as they gain confidence in the regulatory framework, permitting process, and funding support, including assurance that the imported green ammonia and resulting green hydrogen would be recognized and counted towards EU renewable energy targets.

The Rotterdam green hydrogen terminal project—one of several Air Products hopes to develop across the EU—also is seeking to be recognized by the European Commission as an Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI), which would qualify the private-sector project for additional funding from EU member states, according to the potential partners.

Pending positive FID, the proposed Rotterdam import terminal would begin providing green hydrogen to the Netherlands in 2026, with distribution to other EU markets—including Germany and Belgium—to follow, GPR and Air Products said.

Gunvor’s refining green book

Undertaken through Gunvor’s Nyera division established in 2020 to manage the company’s planned non-fossil fuel investments of at least $500 million during the next 3 years, the co-development plan with Air Products comes as part of GPR’s larger transformation of its Rotterdam operations to advance sustainable and renewable energy initiatives at the site in support of the global energy transition.

Purchased from Kuwait Petroleum Europoort BV in 2016, Gunvor shuttered GPR’s two crude distillation units (CDU) in late 2020, ceasing crude processing at the former 83,600-b/d conventional refinery entirely to accommodate changing market and environmental conditions (OGJ Online, Dec. 7, 2020).

Since closure of the CDUs, GPR has focused Rotterdam refining operations on desulfurization of high-sulfur products and the production of gasoline, drastically reducing the site’s Scope 1 emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the site, Gunvor said in its 2021 Sustainability, Ethics & Compliance Report published in September 2022.

As part of its Rotterdam transformation, GPR also is developing new processes around hydrogen and co-processing of vegetable oil, according to Gunvor’s latest sustainability commitments statement released in December 2021.

Gunvor also has confirmed subsidiary Gunvor Raffinerie Ingolstadt GMBH (GRI) will undertake focused projects in the coming years on the fluid catalytic cracker (FCC), heating systems, and exchangers to further improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions at its 110,000-b/d refinery in Ingolstadt, Germany, about 80 km north of Munich.

GRI already is nearing completion of detailed engineering for its Modern Ingolstadt Emissions Reduction Via Amine (MINERVA) project, which aims to reduce the refinery’s sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions to meet increasingly more stringent regulatory requirements, the operator said in September 2022.

Initiated in spring 2020, GRI’s MINERVA project entails construction of a regenerative flue-gas desulfurization plant to treat exhaust gas streams from the refinery’s existing FCC and Claus sulfur recovery unit (SRU), according to Gunvor and a September 2021 official project notice from local government agency Landratsamt Eichstätt.

To be equipped with a selected but yet-to-be-revealed technology, the new plant will separate SO2 from the flue gas for subsequent conversion into elementary sulfur in the SRU, transforming emissions into a usable raw material for industry and reducing the site’s solids waste, wastewater streams, and feed resource requirements, Gunvor said.

With FEED, technology licensing, permitting, and equipment orders already completed and detailed design now nearing completion, Gunvor said it expects to commission the MINERVA project in fourth-quarter 2023.

Transformation of its Rotterdam and Ingolstadt refineries follows Gunvor’s October 2020 mothballing of subsidiary Gunvor Petroleum Antwerpen NV’s (GPA) 107,500-b/d refinery near the Berendrecht and Zandvliet locks in the northern part of Belgium’s Port of Antwerp due to the site’s lack of economic viability amid ongoing adverse macroeconomic effects on the European refining sector (OGJ Online, June 23, 2020).

Gunvor said in September 2022 that GPR’s Rotterdam and GPA’s Antwerp locations—the latter of which continues to maintain terminal operations that include 1.1 million cu m of storage capacity—will continue to contribute to the company’s transition towards greener fuels, especially for the shipping industry.


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