RWE, Shell, Gasunie, Equinor to Build German Offshore Hydrogen Park

Germany-based RWE, Royal Dutch Shell, Norway-based Equinor and Dutch gas network company Gasunie are planning to together build a 300-MW electrolyser in the German North Sea to produce green hydrogen from offshore wind.

The project partners have signed a letter of intent to collaborate on the AquaSector project –  a large-scale German offshore hydrogen park.

The project aims to demonstrate that in Germany offshore based hydrogen production enables an efficient, cost-effective and sustainable way to produce green hydrogen.

The AquaSector project is expected to install approx. 300 MW electrolyser capacity to produce up to 20,000 tons per year of green hydrogen offshore. The green hydrogen is planned to be transported via a pipeline, called AquaDuctus, to Heligoland starting in the year of 2028.

The partners have said in an official statement that they regard the AquaSector project also as a ‘proof of concept‘ for the realisation of the AquaVentus vision of producing up to 10 GW of green hydrogen offshore by 2035 and transporting it via an extended pipeline to mainland Germany.

Compared to the transport of electricity generated offshore, the hydrogen production at sea and the transport via pipeline could offer clear economic advantages. The pipeline could replace five High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) transmission systems, which would otherwise have to be built. It is by far the most cost-effective option for transporting large volumes of energy over long distances, said the companies.

As part of the AquaVentus project family and together with the entire initiative, the partners want to contribute towards the decarbonisation of energy supply in Germany and Europe. The companies believe that AquaSector is a key milestone in the implementation of the German and European hydrogen strategies.

The project is also expected to support the development of the market that will bring a rapidly increasing demand for green hydrogen. The first step in the AquaSector project for the partners is to carry out a detailed feasibility study. The study will provide important initial indications of the conditions under which the large-scale offshore hydrogen park can be successfully realised as well as the technical and commercial challenges which need to be overcome in regards to offshore hydrogen production.

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Soumya Duggal

Soumya is a master's degree holder in English, with a passion for writing. It's an interest she has directed towards environmental writing recently, with a special emphasis on the progress being made in renewable energy.