Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), Shell, Vattenfall and Wärme Hamburg have signed a letter of intent unveiling plans to jointly produce hydrogen from wind and solar power at Vattenfall’s Moorburg power plant site in Hamburg, Germany, and utilize the hydrogen in its vicinity.

In addition to the construction of a scalable electrolyzer with an initial output of 100 MW, further development of the site is planned. This includes the exploration of the extent to which the existing infrastructure of the Moorburg location can be used for the production of energy from renewable sources and concepts for the necessary logistics chains and storage options for hydrogen will also be considered. Subject to future investment decisions and according to the current state of planning, once the site has been cleared the production of green hydrogen is anticipated in 2025. 

“The production of fossil-free hydrogen is one key to the decarbonization of the industry and the transport sectors,” says Andreas Regnell, senior vice president and head of strategic development at Vattenfall. “The Moorburg site has the infrastructure that is necessary for large-scale production of hydrogen.”

In their efforts to form a consortium, the four companies also have the support of Hamburg’s government. In their coalition agreement, the governing parties agreed to examine and support the feasibility of sector coupling and the establishment of hydrogen production in the city-state. 

The partners intend to apply for funding under the EU program, Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI), in the first quarter with the submission of a first outline of the project. The four partner companies view the energy location as having ideal conditions for future use. It is connected to both the national 380,000 V transmission network and the 110,000 V network of Hamburg. In addition, overseas ships can call at the location directly and use the quay and port facilities as an import terminal.

The municipal gas network also intends to expand a hydrogen network in the port within 10 years and is already working on the necessary distribution infrastructure. Numerous potential customers for green hydrogen are located near the site, thus enabling the project to cover the entire hydrogen value chain – from generation to storage, transport and utilization in various sectors.

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