Equinor and German energy major RWE have signed an MoU to jointly develop large-scale value chains for low carbon hydrogen, building on the partnership between Norway and Germany (announced on 5 January).
The partners aim to replace coal fired power plants with hydrogen-ready gas-fired power plants in Germany. They also plan to produce low carbon and renewable hydrogen in Norway that will be exported to Germany through pipeline.
The companies will construct new gas power plants that will be jointly owned and operated to support Germany’s coal phase-out roadmap.
The gas power plants will initially run on natural gas, which will gradually be replaced by hydrogen when the volumes and technologies become available.
The firms will build facilities in Norway to produce low carbon hydrogen from natural gas with CCS. More than 95% of the CO2 will be captured and stored safely and permanently under the seabed offshore Norway, Equinor claims.
Under the agreement, the energy giants will jointly develop offshore wind farms that will enable production of renewable hydrogen as fuel for power and other industrial customers in the future.
“Through this collaboration we will strengthen the long-term energy security for Europe’s leading industrial country while at the same time offer a viable route to a necessary energy transition for hard to abate industries.
“The collaboration has the potential to develop Norway into a key supplier of hydrogen to Germany and Europe. This is a unique opportunity to build a hydrogen industry in Norway where hydrogen can also be used as feedstock to domestic industries,” said Anders Opedal, Equinor’s CEO and president.
“In order to make progress in the conversion from fossil fuels to hydrogen, there is an urgent need for a rapid ramp up of the hydrogen economy. Blue hydrogen in large quantities can be the start, with subsequent conversion into green hydrogen supply.
This is exactly what we are driving forward with our partnership – providing the industries with significant quantities of hydrogen. In addition, our planned investments into hydrogen-ready gas-fired power plants will ensure security of supply in a decarbonized power sector,” said the CEO of RWE, Markus Krebber.