April 10, 2023 [Reuters] – Wilhelmshaven is home to Germany’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) reception terminal, which companies in Europe’s biggest economy hope will help bridge the gap from Russian gas to a low-carbon future.
Here are a selection of company initiatives under way in and around the North Sea deep-water port to aid this transition:
The utility that had to be rescued by the German state when Russian gas business, its biggest profit source, dried up, operates an existing LNG floating terminal.
It plans to add a land-based ammonia reception terminal and cracker in the second half of this decade at Wilhelmshaven for reconversion of ammonia – of which it plans to import 2.6 million tonnes per annum – into green hydrogen.
Project “Green Wilhelmshaven”, which started in 2021, can draw on land from a defunct coal-to-power generation plant, regasification capacity, nearby gas transport pipelines and gas storage caverns.
Wintershall Dea (WINT.UL)
The oil and gas producer, part of the BASF (BASFn.DE) chemicals group, wants to make initially “blue” (fossil) hydrogen from Norwegian natural gas in processes that will be powered with offshore wind, in a venture called BlueHyNow.
It plans to split CO2 from that process and, in a parallel business model called Co2nnectNow-Hub, also gather CO2 from other German industry which needs to meet carbon avoidance and sequestration targets.
The combined volumes will be shipped via dedicated CO2 pipelines for permanent burying under the seabed.
Wintershall Dea has teamed up with companies in Denmark to expand carbon capture and storage (CCS) off the country’s northern North Sea coast and also cooperates on CCS with Norway’s Equinor (EQNR.OL), with ideas to build a pipeline from Germany to Norway to transport and store CO2.
Tree Energy Solutions (TES):
The company, backed by Belgian firm AtlasInvest, has won a commission to operate the second LNG floating terminal at Wilhelmshaven from later in 2023 for a five-year period, in a cooperation with E.ON (EONGn.DE) and Engie (ENGIE.PA).
From 2027 onwards, it wants to create a landing facility for green methane (CH4), called e-NG, produced from cheap overseas solar power.
This could be used directly, or converted into hydrogen and CO2, the latter again being captured, liquefied and shipped back to the original site for re-use in the next batch of green gas, recycling the CO2 in a closed loop.
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