Important Milestone: Cross-Border Hydrogen Project in the Saar Region Passes First Selection Round
The project proposal aiming to establish a green hydrogen economy in the Saarland, France, and Luxembourg was jointly submitted by six companies to the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy for funding as an “Important Project of Common European Interest” (IPCEI). The regional initiative may expect a financial support of about €400 Mio in total.
Eurice supported the consortium bringing together SHS steel companies (Stahl-Holding-Saar with its companies Dillinger and Saarstahl), the energy company STEAG, the energy technology company Siemens Energy, the grid operator Creos Deutschland, and the Saarbahn public transport company in the strategic outline and coordination of the proposal.
In the first selection round, German national authorities (BMWi, BMVI) selected 62 proposals out of over 240 submissions. Given this highly competitive call, the joint proposal scored with the suggested cross-sectoral combination of hydrogen production, transport, and use for the decarbonisation of industry and mobility.
The cluster project – representing three thematic single projects – covers all three crucial aspects of a hydrogen value chain: production, distribution and usage. Thus, the proposal has all the essential building blocks necessary to establish an independent hydrogen economy, with the ability to easily integrate into larger European infrastructures as they are expanded. STEAG / Siemens Energy will produce approx. 5,800 tons of hydrogen per year at the HydroHub Fenne, an industrial-scale electrolysis project being built at the site of an existing power plant near Völklingen in the Saar region. The distribution of the hydrogen gas will be realised in the mosaHYc project, in the framework of which a border-crossing pipeline infrastructure established by CREOS on the German and GRTgaz on the French side, will be commissioned for hydrogen transportation. Steel Holding Saar will spearhead innovative green technologies in the steel industry with its H2SYNgas project by implementing hydrogen gas into its blast furnace processes at their Dillingen steel production site, granting significant reduction of carbon emissions. The hydrogen needs of SHS alone are sufficient to guarantee a complete uptake of the hydrogen produced and distributed by the other two projects, making the entire value chain viable and attractive for additional hydrogen producers, distributors, and users to connect and join in.
For the further procedure leading to a notification for the selected projects, i. e. the EU Commission’s approval under state aid legislation, the partners are counting on the joint project continuing to convince with its transnationality and diversity on the offtake and consumption sides.
“We are very proud of our successful consultancy and support services for this important mega-project of particular importance for the Saarland economy and confident that the final decision of the European Commission will be made before the end of the year”, says Jörg Scherer, Managing Director of Eurice.