Green Hydrogen Will Be Part of a $4.9 Billion Wind Project by RWE and BASF

By May 21, 2021 4   min read  (763 words)

May 21, 2021 |

Fuel cells works, hydrogen, BASF, green hydrogen, h2, fuel cells
  • Green electricity and innovative production technology could turn the Ludwigshafen chemical site into a beacon for climate protection in the chemical industry
  • An additional offshore wind farm with a capacity of 2 gigawatts is to be supplied by BASF from 2030 onwards for CO 2 -free production processes
  • Letter of Intent focuses on the climate-neutral chemical industry and CO 2 -free hydrogen

Essen / Ludwigshafen–Dr. Martin Brudermüller (BASF) and Dr. Markus Krebber (RWE) presented a project idea in Ludwigshafen today in the presence of IG BCE chairman Michael Vassiliadis, which shows how industrial production can be sustainable and future-proof.

 An additional offshore wind farm with a capacity of 2 gigawatts (GW) is to supply the Ludwigshafen chemical site with green electricity and serve for the CO 2 -free production of hydrogen. The aim is to electrify production processes for basic chemicals that were previously based on fossil fuels.

In doing so, CO 2 -free technologies such as electrically heated steam cracker ovens for the production of petrochemicals are to be used, which BASF is already working on with partners. In order to advance the joint project, the CEOs of BASF and RWE have signed a declaration of intent on far-reaching cooperation for the development of additional capacities for renewable electricity and for the use of innovative technologies for climate protection.

“Together we want to accelerate the path to a CO 2 -neutral chemical industry through electrification and the use of CO 2 -free hydrogen”, explained Brudermüller and Krebber. Michael Vassiliadis, chairman of IG BCE, emphasized: “Here two strong partners are making climate-friendly transformation and the energy turnaround concrete and tangible. We stand behind this major project because it can be a symbol of the innovative strength of the industry and its employees. In many places, you work with a lot of passion and great competence to shape the change. They deserve every possible support. ”

The project could avoid around 3.8 million tons of CO 2 emissions per year, up to 2.8 million tons of which directly at BASF in Ludwigshafen. It shows very specifically how climate protection and competitiveness in the chemical industry can be reconciled. Financial support from the public sector for the construction of the wind farm would not be required.

Martin Brudermüller, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE, emphasized: “The transformation that lies ahead of us cannot succeed without sufficient quantities of electricity from renewable sources at competitive prices! This task can only be mastered through innovative and intensive cooperation between politics and industry. And it needs cooperation across value chains. In our partnership between RWE as a leading company in power generation and BASF in chemistry, we bring together the necessary prerequisites and the will to shape it. ”

Markus Krebber, CEO of RWE, explained: “Coupling a new offshore wind farm to an industrial customer such as BASF at the planning stage, who will convert its production to green electricity and hydrogen on this basis, would be a novelty for Germany. Realizing our proposal would really accelerate the expansion of renewable energies. Of course there are still some questions unanswered, but we want to drive this forward: the faster the better. This is how we shape the energy transition. ”

A corresponding regulatory framework is a prerequisite for the implementation of the project. Politicians have announced that they will significantly raise the expansion targets for renewable energies and accelerate the expansion. For this purpose, areas for offshore projects would have to be tendered, which, according to current planning, is not intended to be used until after 2030. The companies suggest using these areas specifically for tenders that focus on industrial transformation processes. In addition, the green electricity should be relieved of the EEG surcharge. The regulatory framework for CO 2 -free hydrogen production is currently still missing.

With the project presented today, BASF and RWE are showing how a cleverly done restructuring of Germany as an industrial location can succeed. “We are convinced: Climate-neutral industrial production” Made in Germany “ensures that added value and employment remain in Germany and that this opens up export opportunities for new technologies,” said Brudermüller and Krebber.

Generation of green hydrogen through electrolysis

  • Around 20% of the electricity produced by the wind farm is to be used for the production of green hydrogen in north-west Germany.
  • Around 300 MW capacity to generate around 30 million kg of green hydrogen per year for use in other industrial areas.
  • Highly attractive location due to partially existing hydrogen infrastructure and high hydrogen demand in the region. Options at existing power plant locations.

Source: RWE


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