15 Apr 2021

Uniper Unveils Hydrogen Hub Plans that Could Meet 10% of Germany’s Hydrogen Demand

15 Apr 2021  by   

German utility Uniper wants to establish a brand new national hydrogen hub in Wilhemshaven that could provide 10% of Germany’s hydrogen demand.

The project, named Green Wilhemshaven, will act as a central hub for climate friendly hydrogen in addition to including an import terminal that will help bring international hydrogen to the areas increasing trade and investment opportunities.

A first-of-its-kind NH3 ‘ammonia cracker’ is planned to be implemented into the terminal to create green hydrogen and will also be connected to the planned hydrogen network.

In addition, a 410MW electrolysis plant is also planned which combined with the terminal, will be capable of supplying around 295,000 metric tonnes for the whole of Germany by 2030 – which Uniper says would provide 10% of the country’s hydrogen demand.

It is expected that the hydrogen generated from this hub will be primarily used to supply local industry but will also be capable of being fed into the national hydrogen network.

David Bryson, Chief Operating Officer at Uniper, said, “It is essential that Germany and Europe remain industrial powerhouses: If we want to achieve this and still hit our ambitious climate protection targets, we need hydrogen to power sectors such as steel production, the chemicals industry or in freight, shipping and air transport.

“Currently, Germany plans to generate 14TWh of green hydrogen in 2030, but the demand for that year is forecast to be 90–100TWh — the discrepancy between these two figures is abundantly clear.

“We will be heavily dependent on imports if we want to use hydrogen to help us achieve our climate goals.”

The Green Wilhemshaven project, with its combination of hydrogen import and production, has been submitted to the German Federal Ministry of Economics a few weeks ago as an ‘Important Project of Common European Interest’ (IPCEI).

Additionally, Uniper is working with its partners on a project to ascertain whether it would be feasible to build a direct reduction plant with upstream hydrogen electrolysis on the site of the existing power plant in Wilhelmshaven, as well as the required infrastructure for supplying raw materials.

The aim is to produce around two million metric tons of green crude iron using hydrogen generated via wind power.

Uniper is working with Salzgitter and Rhenus Logistics, the city of Wilhelmshaven and the state of Lower Saxony on this project.

Dr. Axel Wietfield, CEO of Uniper, said, “One sector in which hydrogen can play a crucial role in reducing CO2 emissions is steel production.

“Currently, each metric ton of crude steel produced releases approximately one metric ton of CO2 emissions. Hydrogen is the only realistic option for decarbonising this industry.”

Commissioning of the new terminal is planned for the second half of this decade, depending on national import demand and export opportunities.

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