BP and a green hydrogen specialist part-owned by Macquarie agreed to step up development work on a 250MW offshore wind-powered green H2 facility to help decarbonise the oil & gas giant’s Rotterdam refinery.

BP and HyCC – a joint venture formed last year between Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (GIG) and Netherlands chemicals giant Nobian – said they will start environmental studies over the plant in the Port of Rotterdam after a feasibility study confirmed its potential.

The 250MW of electrolysers would take power from wind farms in the Dutch North Sea, which is gearing up to host one of the world’s highest concentrations of offshore turbines under stretching government targets.

The duo said the green H2 produced would be used instead of fossil-based supplies used at BP’s refinery and elsewhere in the area, saving a claimed 350,000 tonnes of annual CO2 emissions.

They aim to select technology partners this year ahead of a final investment decision in 2023 and operation from 2025.

BP – which late last year unveiled plans for up to 500MW of green hydrogen production in northeast England – said the project is “one of the pillar projects supporting BP's hydrogen ambition”.

The Dutch government has backed the scheme under its put H2-Fifty forward as an “important project” under the EU’s IPCEI Hydrogen scheme, part of the bloc’s efforts to deploy 40GW of electrolysers by 2030.

The electrolyser plant would be sited in the Maasvlakte area of the Port of Rotterdam, which is attempting to position itself as a lynchpin of Europe’s emerging hydrogen economy.

BP’s fellow supermajor Shell has already signed up Thyssenkrupp to build a 200MW electrolysis plant at the Dutch port to produce green hydrogen using power from the future Hollandse Kust North offshore wind farm.