FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German energy firm HH2E and Swiss-based MET Group plan to invest in an electrolysis plant at Lubmin on the Baltic Sea that could see more than 1 billion euros ($1.05 billion) in spending by 2030, the two said in a joint statement on Wednesday.
Europe are planning to build up a green hydrogen economy which, with the help of renewable-powered electrolysers, it expects to deliver climate neutral hydrogen to fuel industrial manufacturers and transport.
Initially, the two partners would aim for 100 megawatt (MW) power volume by 2025, derived from offshore wind turbines with an initial investment of 200 million euros and generated by a 50 MW electrolyser combined with a 200 megawatt hours (MWh) battery, they said.
The project company, called H2 Lubmin GmbH, is tasked to develop, construct and operate the site.
The electrolyser will produce and charge the battery when weather-driven wind and solar energy is available, said Andreas Schierenbeck, co-founder and board member at HH2E, and former chief executive of Uniper.
When there is no renewable energy, it will still be able to deliver continuously.
The Lubmin site where the Nord Stream 2 pipeline - suspended since Russia's war on Ukraine - makes landfall, was home to a nuclear plant before Germany's reunification in 1990, meaning electric grid connections are still in place.
The partners will aim to produce 6,000 tonnes, or more than 200,000 MWh a year, of green hydrogen by 2025.
In a second step, the plant could raise capacity to over 1 gigawatt and produce 60,000 tonnes a year, avoiding 800,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.
Opponents of the hydrogen drive say it could be inefficient because to scale up it will require vast amounts of clean energy production while future cost reductions are uncertain.
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(Reporting by Vera Eckert; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)