Norway's Equinor and Germany's VNG Join Forces To Develop The German Hydrogen Market

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Norway's Equinor and Germany's VNG Join Forces To Develop The German Hydrogen Market

Tue, 07/05/2022 - 10:08
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H2 hydrogen molecule (© Shutterstock/Alexander Limbach)
H2 hydrogen molecule (© Shutterstock/Alexander Limbach)

Equinor, the diversified Norwegian concern that until several years ago was better known by its previous name, Statoil, and the German energy company Verbundnetzgas AG (VNG), have agreed to expand their cooperation in the gas sector to include new areas such as Low-CO2 Hydrogen, Low-CO2 Ammonia as well as the extraction, use and offshore storage of CO2 (CCU and CCS).

Both partners have furthermore agreed to execute a joint project on the evaluation of options for the production of Low-CO2 Hydrogen in Rostock. To this end technologies for the extraction and use of CO2 and for the transport and for the secure storage of gases in industrial applications will be used.

The latter should be seen in the context of the 45 year (and counting) Norwegian - German energy partnership, which has received the continuous support of both countries' governments.

The most important project elements are:

  • the direct import from Norway of CO2-low hydrogen and CO2-low ammonia for the German hydrogen market;
  • the planing, construction and operation of a plant of gigawatt dimensions in Rostock with a yearly hydrogen capacity of up to 230,000 tons. This corresponds up to 8 or 9 TWh or nearly 20 percent of the present day German hydrogen market;
  • the reduction of the CO2 footprint of CO2-low hydrogen of more than 95 percent compared to hydrogen without CO2 extraction and storage;
  • the separation and liquefaction of yearly almost 2 million tons of CO2 from hydrogen production;
  • the shipment of liquefied CO2 from Rostock for ongoing and secure offshore storage in Norway.

The project will provide the basis for the expansion of hydrogen storage in large salt caverns in subterranean gas storage in Bernberg and Bad Lauchstädt in Sachsen-Anhalt, to guarantee flexibility and security of supply with hydrogen.

Both Equinor and VNG are of the opinion that hydrogen from decarbonated natural gas will play an important role during the development of a hydrogen market in Germany. The production of CO2 - low hydrogen in Germany and the utilization of carbon dioxide open opportunities for economic gain.

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