Raffinerie Heide GmbH is Germany’s northernmost crude oil processing plant. Covering a total of 134 hectares, the company processes over four million tonnes of crude oil annually. Well over 60 per cent of the crude oil is used for the production of fuels. Thus, a significant proportion of the petroleum and diesel fuel consumed in Schleswig-Holstein comes from Raffinerie Heide. In addition, the company produces jet fuel, with which in particular Hamburg Airport is supplied. Beyond the production of fuels, around 450,000 tonnes of petrochemical products are manufactured in the refinery in Hemmingstedt annually. Since Summer 2018, Raffinerie Heide has been committed to the KEROSyN100 project, and is responsible, in this case, for the technical integration, as well as the business analysis of power-to-fuel processes at the refinery.
Activities in the real-world laboratory
In the grounds of Raffinerie Heide, a 30-MW-electrolysis facility for large-scale demonstration of the generation and use of hydrogen is being implemented within the existing industrial process. Raffinerie Heide has been processing hydrogen since the 1950s, and, since the mid-1960s, has operated a hydrogen pipeline between Hemmingstedt and Brunsbüttel, approx. 40 km in length. Raffinerie Heide will, moreover, re-purpose a salt cavern in the direct vicinity of the site for the storage of hydrogen and recomplete it. Beyond that, the refinery possesses further plant, which is being introduced into this project (e.g. a water treatment plant, metrological control rooms, a laboratory, and a heat extraction facility). The existing knowledge in the field of hydrogen processing and systems operation will be incorporated into the project.
“With the WESTKÜSTE100 project and the putting into operation of a 30 MW electrolysis facility, we are laying the foundation for the green hydrogen industry in the Heide region. In particular, the integrated and scalable project approach should be emphasised, which inherently contains the potential to decarbonise various sectors and transform our industry.”
Findings and empirical values from the real-world laboratory project known as WESTKÜSTE100 are used for more extensively expanding the hydrogen technology of the Heide region. The HySCALE100 project, within the scope of which the large-scale hydrogen production and green methanol synthesis for decarbonisation of the value creation chains of the two industries of petrochemicals and cement manufacture is envisaged, will mark a further milestone for this objective.
With the use of regenerative sources of energy to a significant extent, as well as the extension of the production process, in order to produce carbon-neutral energy sources – such as synthetic fuels –, Raffinerie Heide is working on being transformed into a utility company which is involved in achieving the climate-protection goals.