Uniper unveils plans to convert coal-fired plant into hydrogen hub

The German utility plans to build an electrolysis plant to produce green hydrogen and an import terminal for green ammonia

German energy company Uniper has unveiled plans to turn its Wilhelmshaven coal plant into a hydrogen hub.

The project, which was retired last December, will be replaced with a 410MW electrolysis plant and an import terminal for green ammonia.

The new hub is predicted to be capable of supplying around 295,000 tonnes of green hydrogen or an estimated 10% of the demand expected for the whole of Germany in 2030.

The utility originally explored the idea of building a floating import terminal for liquefied natural gas (LNG) at the Wilhelmshaven but research found there is currently not enough interest for that kind of venture.

David Bryson, Chief Operating Officer of Uniper, said: “It is essential that Germany and Europe remain industrial powerhouses: If we want to achieve this and still hit our ambitious climate protection targets, we need hydrogen to power sectors such as steel production, the chemicals industry or in freight, shipping and air transport.”

Dr Axel Wietfeld, Chief Executive Officer of Uniper Hydrogen, commented: “One sector in which hydrogen can play a crucial role in reducing carbon dioxide emissions is steel production.

“Currently, each tonne of crude steel produced releases approximately one tonne of carbon dioxide emissions. Hydrogen is the only realistic option for decarbonising this industry.”

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