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The facility will provide enough hydrogen to cover three times the energy consumption of the Volkswagen automobile plant.

By Joseph Murphy

German gas supplier Wintershall Dea has unveiled plans for a blue hydrogen project in Germany that would involve decarbonise energy-intensive industry.

The project, BlueHyNow, will be developed on Germany's North Sea coast at Wilhelmshaven, where Uniper and Tree Energy Solutions have proposed building two LNG import terminals to help wean the country off Russian gas. The German port also receives gas from Norway via pipeline, and is set to have a direct link to the country's planned hydrogen network.

BlueHyNow is aimed at producing more than 200,000 m3 of hydrogen/hour, or 5.6 TWh annually, Wintershall Dea said on May 5, providing fuel to decarbonise energy-intensive industries. Wintershall Dea said this would be enough hydrogen to cover three times the energy consumption of the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg, one of the world's biggest car manufacturing sites.

Powered by renewable energy, the plant will receive natural gas and split it into hydrogen that will be served to customers via pipeline, and CO2, which will be shipped to offshore locations in Norway and Denmark for storage. 

"Our project stands for progress," Wintershall Dea CEO Mario Mehren said. "For Germany's net-zero emissions targets, for Germany's industrial competitiveness, and for a safe, secure and flexible energy supply. With this project we will strengthen the existing Wilhelmshaven energy hub and take a major step towards a clean, climate friendly future."

Wintershall Dea said Germany would face a significant hydrogen supply shortfall without projects such as BlueHyNow. 

"Industrial customers need certainty that they will be able to obtain sufficient quantities of hydrogen in the near future," Mehren said. "Otherwise, there is a risk that Germany's national hydrogen strategy will become futile. We need hydrogen from diverse sources, with competitive production. Climate friendly hydrogen from natural gas is an essential part of the solution."