Several of North Germany’s largest industrial companies have partnered together in a $1.5bn project which aims to integrate hydrogen into the northwest German coastline.
Dubbed Clean Hydrogen Coastline, the partners want to integrate a capacity of up to 400MW for electrolysis with corresponding storage for hydrogen to be added to the energy network by 2026.
The project contains companies from across the German hydrogen network chain meaning each will have its own responsibilities ensuring that the hydrogen is successfully incorporated into the area.
EWE CEO Stefan Dohler said, “In northern Germany – the wind power region – we have the best prerequisites for integrating hydrogen as an integral part of the energy system and laying the foundation for a European hydrogen economy.”
“With the National Hydrogen Strategy, the federal government has made the importance of this energy source and raw material clear.”
“In order to be able to use hydrogen on a large scale at marketable prices, major industrial projects must now follow.”
The basis of the project is to create green hydrogen that will be exported to the rest of Europe contributing to the growing European hydrogen economy with an increased focus in industrial application.
The industrial steel capacity in Bremen, dominated by ArcelorMittal Bremen, offers a potential to decarbonise the industries in the area in addition to exhibiting how effective green hydrogen can be to the steel making industry.
Reiner Blascheck, CEO of ArcelorMittal Bremen, stated, “We started the transformation process by preparing the technology change in order to use green hydrogen in production.”
“To do this, we need a functioning supply of hydrogen at economic costs so that we can keep the Bremen steel location competitive over the long term.”
To support this, the company have outlined its plans to build an iron ore reduction plant with an electric arc furnace at its Bremen site by 2026. It is estimated that this will be used to produce 1.5 million tons of crude steel with significantly lower CO2 emissions.
In addition to this factor, the transport sector will also play a huge role in integrating hydrogen to the region with the group hoping to capitalise on the growing technological capacity of fuel cells stating the need to get fuel cell-powered vehicles on the roads as soon as possible.
This factor is supported by Patrick Hermanspann, CEO of FAUN Group, who said, “We already have extensive experience in equipping collection vehicles with fuel cell systems. A transfer to other commercial vehicles and goods transport is therefore our declared goal – for climate-neutral trucking. The task here is to create sufficient production capacity.”
As part of the Clean Hydrogen Coastline project, FAUN wants to expand their production to bring a total of 12,000 vehicles into operation by 2026.
FUAN and EWE collectively plan to support this by introducing a hydrogen filling station network across the area.
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“The combination of vehicles and decentralized H2 supply offers customers an all-round carefree package and that must be the goal,” added Hermanspann.
The project details that hydrogen must be added to the existing energy network and infrastructure intelligently having outlined the plan to integrate electrolysis plants in a system friendly manner.
Doing this will allow northwest Germany to have access to green hydrogen.
Tim Meyerjürgens, Managing Director of TenneT, said, “Suitable locations have already been identified in northwest Germany today. With the connection of additional renewable energies, especially in the offshore sector, the potential for further hydrogen plants continues to rise.”
This will help further integrate the project into the European hydrogen network, with Jens Schumann, CEO of Gasunie Deutschland Transport Services, stating the possible link up with the HyPerLink project, “The HyPerLink project is closely linked to the Clean Hydrogen Coastline project and, as an important part of the European backbone, will create a connection between the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark.”
There is also a plan to both produce and store green hydrogen in the region to help with exportation and drive revenue for the project.
For the first phase of the development the Bremen site will produce 200MW with the storage location being 20km away in Huntorf, Wesermarsch.
“With the construction of a large electrolyser at the swb power station in Mittelbüren, we are making a major contribution to a CO2-free industry. This will make Bremen a kickstarter in the European hydrogen economy,” Chairman of the swb board, Dr. Torsten Köhne said.
Each of the Clean Hydrogen Coastline partners have agreed that suitable framework conditions must be in place for the successful implementation of the project with funding crucial for the early phase of the plan.
Through existing cooperation between German and Dutch partners, the project can become an important component of a European hydrogen economy with the project set to trigger a total investment of $1.5 billion for hydrogen technology.