The Swedish electricity company Vattenfall, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Royal Dutch Shell and the district heating company Waerme Hamburg have signed a letter of intent on their project to build a 100 MW electrolyser on the site of Vattenfall’s Moorburg coal-fired power plant in Hamburg.
Last December, the five-year-old Moorburg power plant was awarded a contract with the German Federal Network Agency to receive compensation for the reduction of coal-fired generation and could be approved for early closure in March.
Now Vattenfall and its partners want to transform the site into a “green energy hub” and jointly produce hydrogen from wind and solar energy using an upgradable electrolyser with an initial capacity of 100-MW. For the time being, the plan includes a study on the extent to which Moorburg’s existing infrastructure can be used to produce renewable energy. Concepts for the necessary supply chains and hydrogen storage options will also be considered.
All four companies can count on the support of the city-state government parties. The site also benefits from connections to both the national transport network and Hamburg’s own network, as well as proximity to a wide range of potential customers, including overseas vessels. It allows the project to cover the entire hydrogen value chain – from production to storage, transport and use in various sectors. The municipal gas grid company also intends to expand a hydrogen network in the port within ten years and is already working on the necessary distribution infrastructure.
The partners intend to apply for funding under the EU’s “Important Projects of Common European Interest” (IPCEI) programme. This should take place in the first quarter of 2021 with the submission of a first project outline. Depending on investment decisions and based on current plans, green hydrogen production could start in 2025, making the electrolyser one of the largest plants in Europe.
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by Nicolas Boudou