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    Uniper sees green hydrogen role for port


Its plans for an LNG import terminal at Wilhelmshaven, Germany, have been shelved for now.

by: William Powell

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Uniper sees green hydrogen role for port

German utility Uniper is progressing with plans to develop the North Sea port of Wilhelmshaven as a hub for climate-friendly hydrogen, some of which will be imported as ammonia, it said April 14. In combination with electrolysis, hydrogen could be produced for around 10% of German demand, it said. 

Uniper was seriously considering building a floating import terminal for liquefied natural gas (LNG) at the Wilhelmshaven site. But a market test in October 2020 showed there was little interest in the LNG market in long-term booking of large LNG regasification capacities in Germany, Uniper said April 14 – even though other companies have managed to find  firm bidders for capacity at bigger regas facilities.

The hydrogen terminal is planned for commissioning in the second half of the decade depending on import demand and export supply. 

COO David Bryson said Europe had to remain "strong industrial locations. If we want to achieve this in spite of the ambitious climate protection goals, we need hydrogen – in the steel sector, in chemistry or in freight traffic, shipping and air traffic."

German green hydrogen production in 2030 is forecast at 14 TWh but demand is estimated at 90-110 TWh. "We will be very dependent on imports if we want to achieve our climate goals with the help of hydrogen too," he said. Green hydrogen produced by wind power can be used to make pig iron and Uniper is co-operating with Salzgitter and Rhenus Logistics as well as the city of Wilhelmshaven and the state of Lower Saxony.

Finnish state utility Forum meanwhile is strengthening its control of Uniper, having ousted its CEO and its CFO in recent weeks and shaken up its own management board.