The consortium behind the Westküste100 project received the go-ahead and funding approval from the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy. That will make it Germany’s first hydrogen project included in the real-world. The project is backed by an investment volume totalling 89 million euros.
The funding volume approved for the project’s launch amounts to 30 million euros. As a result, the real-world laboratory project has taken a significant step forward towards its goal of progressively establishing a regional hydrogen economy on an industrial scale. The consortium brings together a total of ten partners.
They plan to produce green hydrogen, transport it in the gas network. Use it in industrial processes and to interlink different material cycles within the existing infrastructure. This will allow the decarbonisation of industry, mobility and the heating market to be tested under real conditions.
The funding approval enables work to begin on the first phase of the project, which is set to run for five years. A newly formed joint venture, H2 Westküste GmbH, comprising EDF Deutschland, Ørsted and Raffinerie Heide, is to build a 30 megawatt electrolyser. This electrolyser will produce green hydrogen from offshore wind energy and provide information on the operation, maintenance, control and grid compatibility of the equipment.
What is special and innovative about the Westküste100 project is the linking of different sectors within an existing regional infrastructure. This also includes the integration of green hydrogen in the existing process at Raffinerie Heide in a move intended to replace the use of grey hydrogen. In addition, part of the generated hydrogen will be transported via a newly built hydrogen pipeline to Heide’s municipal utility for transfer to the natural gas grid.
In a future stage, there are plans to supply a hydrogen filling station. All the milestones that are devised during the Westküste100 project form the basis for the next, scaling stages. The vision for all partners is to build a 700 MW electrolysis plant. With the future prospect of making use of the waste heat and oxygen arising during the electrolysis process. Further plans include the production of climate-friendly aviation fuels and large-scale supply to gas grids.
Michael Riechel, chairman of the executive board of Thüga Aktiengesellschaft stated: ‘Our long-term target is an H2 quota in the gas grid of up to 100 percent by 2050. In the test run with a hydrogen addition of up to 20 percent in a section of the network comprising more than 200 domestic customers, Thüga and Heide municipal utility are setting a concrete precedent.’
Fuel from hydrogen and CO2
In the future manufacture of fuel, hydrogen from electrolysis and unavoidable CO2 from a regional cement plant in Schleswig-Holstein will be used in the process. During the initial phase of the Westküste100 project preparations will be made for converting the Lägerdorf cement plant to a more environmentally friendly (oxyfuel) combustion process.
‘We are delighted to contribute our expertise in the manufacture of green hydrogen by electrolysis and in the exploitation of CO2 as a raw material for green methanol to this outstanding project. This will help further reinforce the leading role of German industry in hydrogen technologies’, stated Sami Pelkonen, CEO Chemical & Process Technologies at thyssenkrupp.
EDF Deutschland, Holcim Deutschland, OGE, Ørsted Deutschland, Raffinerie Heide, Heide’s municipal utility, Thüga, and thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions, along with the Region Heide development agency and the Westküste University of Applied Sciences.