(Hemmingstedt, 24 August 2020) On 24 August 2020, the Prime Ministers of the states of Schleswig-Holstein and North-Rhine Westphalia, Daniel Günther and Armin Laschet, paid a visit to the Heide Refinery. As part of the ‘Schleswig-Holstein – the State for Energy and Science’ initiative, Mr. Günther and Mr. Laschet were given a tour of the site for the Westküste100 (West Coast 100) project by our Managing Director, Jürgen Wollschläger.
After receiving positive news from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy regarding the grant of funding, approval was given at the start of August for the ‘Westküste 100’ real-world laboratory project to become Germany’s first hydrogen project. Together with nine cross-industry partners from the worlds of business, science and research, Raffinerie Heide is using this project to pursue its aim of harnessing wind power in northern Germany to generate ‘green’ hydrogen on an industrial scale and achieve decarbonisation in the transport, industrial and heating sectors. The heads of the federal states of Schleswig-Holstein and North-Rhine Westphalia used the recent Federal announcement as an opportunity to talk to Mr. Wollschläger and find out more about the project and the planned key dates.
During a tour of the Raffinerie Heide site, Mr. Günther and Mr. Laschet were shown the future location of the electrolysis plant, which will have a capacity of 30 megawatts. The planning, construction and commissioning of an electrolysis plant is a key part of the five-year project time frame. The ‘green’ hydrogen produced via the electrolysis process will be generated from offshore wind power. Storage and transportation of the hydrogen and the downstream production of synthetic hydrocarbons are also part of the Westküste 100 project. Together with its project partners, Raffinerie Heide wants to use this sustainable business model to actively shape the transformation of the energy system in Germany and play a key role in achieving the climate protection targets that have been set.
Green hydrogen and the transformation of the energy system
Both the economic stimulus programme recently published by German Government and the National Hydrogen Strategy adopted on 10 June 2020 are clear signals of the Government’s intention to plan and implement the urgently needed investment in climate protection and future clean technologies. This is an essential requirement for successfully being able to go about transforming the energy system and coupling different sectors. ‘Amid the wind farms and storage options in the immediate vicinity of the future electrolysis process, Schleswig-Holstein’s west coast is an ideal location for hydrogen production. Following the latest decisions, the initial course has now been set for suitable regulatory framework conditions that will permit the efficient planning of a cross-sector business model for hydrogen production. As one of the pioneering projects linked to the National Hydrogen Strategy, we are getting closer to our aim of being able to fly, build and heat in a more sustainable way,’ said Mr. Wollschläger.
WESTKÜSTE 100 project status
Following the approval of the funding grant by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy on 3 August 2020, the first phase of the five-year project is now under way. A newly formed joint venture, ‘H2 Westküste GmbH’, involving EDF Germany, Ørsted and the Raffinerie Heide, will build a 30-megawatt electrolyser. This will produce green hydrogen from offshore wind power, while also providing insights into the operation, maintenance and management of the plant and its utility value to the grid.
You can find further information on the project at www.westkueste100.de.
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