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Wilhelmshaven hydrogen capital

News / Update Technical articles / Interviews Friedeburg-Etzel

DENA study to show ways to become an H2 hub.

Wilhelmshaven is to become the hydrogen capital of Germany. With this in mind, 14 companies from Wilhelmshaven and the wider region have now set out on their journey with the Wirtschaftsförderungsgesellschaft Wilhelmshaven mbH (WFG).

The joint initiative aims to identify and leverage the region's potential for establishing a hydrogen cluster. As a first step, the companies commissioned a comprehensive study from the Deutsche Energie-Agentur GmbH (dena). dena is a federally owned company for national and international services related to energy and climate policy goals of the German government. The spokesman for the regional initiative group is Uwe Oppitz, Managing Director of Rhenus Midgard Wilhelmshaven GmbH & Co.KG. "We want to make use of dena's strong expertise in issues relating to hydrogen value chains, energy efficiency, renewable energies or national and/or European regulatory frameworks," says Oppitz. WFG is coordinating the overall project.

The main aim of the dena study is to identify synergies between the individual company projects, embed them in an overarching overall concept and derive measures and recommendations for action. The main task here is to analyze the technical, infrastructural, regulatory and legal conditions at the location. Specific advantages of the location and challenges are to be identified and evaluated in order to derive support requirements. In addition, possible national and international funding applications are to be developed on this basis. The results of the study are expected in spring 2022.

The initiative can be traced back to the "Hydrogen Round Table Wilhelmshaven", which was founded by SPD Member of Parliament Siemtje Möller, as well as Lower Saxony's Minister for the Environment, Energy, Building and Climate Protection, Olaf Lies. The aim was and is to conduct an exchange with companies along the entire potential hydrogen value chain - from import, production, storage and transport to consumption. In the meantime, a "hydrogen dialog" coordinated by the WFG has been established.


Achieving the climate targets set by the German government - especially with regard to CO2 savings of 65% by 2030 (compared to 1990) - requires the expansion and promotion of renewable energies along the entire value chain. In the course of the energy transition, the production, supply, distribution and use of hydrogen will play a decisive role. In order to achieve climate neutrality in industry, transportation, and energy and heat supply, a lot of hydrogen will be needed in the future. It is assumed that hydrogen demand will nearly double to 100 TWh by 2030.

Due to the infrastructural, industrial and geographical conditions, there are promising opportunities to establish Wilhelmshaven as a hydrogen hub for Germany. The main advantages of the location include:

  • High-voltage grid hub with 380 kV connection as well as line corridors for offshore wind connection
  • High generation capacities for onshore and offshore wind power in the surrounding area
  • Distinct pipeline infrastructure (essentially planned hydrogen transport network of transmission system operators; conversion of gas storage facilities to hydrogen)
  • Operability of the "no-regret corridor" - European hydrogen network with expected high supply and demand (markets: France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany)
  • Utilization of the only German deep-water port for transport as well as construction of new transhipment terminals and utilization of existing port infrastructures

The partners of the initiative (alphabetical order):

  • ArcelorMittal GmbH (ArcelorMittal)
  • EKB Storage GmbH Co. KG (EKB)
  • Nord-West Oelleitung GmbH (NWO)
  • Nowega GmbH (Nowega)
  • Niedersachsen Ports GmbH & Co. KG (NPorts)
  • Onyx Germany GmbH (Onyx)
  • Open Grid Europe GmbH (OGE)
  • Rhenus Midgard Wilhelmshaven GmbH & Co.KG, (Rhenus)
  • Salzgitter AG (Salzgitter)
  • STORAG ETZEL GmbH (Storag Etzel)
  • Tree Energy Solutions GmbH (TES)
  • Uniper Hydrogen GmbH (Uniper)
  • Vynova Wilhelmshaven GmbH (Vynova)
  • Wirtschaftsförderungsgesellschaft Wilhelmshaven mbH (WFG)

Press release of the WFG