German companies seek EC funding for cross-border hydrogen project

Six German companies have teamed up for European Commission funding to develop a green hydrogen economy in Germany’s Saarland region, France and Luxembourg.

Power generator STEAG, Siemens Energy, grid operator Creos Deutschland, the Saarbahn public transport company and the SHS steel companies (Stahl-Holding-Saar with its companies Dillinger and Saarstahl) have developed a joint project to create a cross-border, green hydrogen economy through the production, use and transport of hydrogen, the companies said in a joint statement on March 8.

The submission was in response to the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy for expressions of interest to identify Important Projects of Common European Interest, or IPCEI. With the funding, the companies hope to secure the necessary capital to implement their projects. The hydrogen projects “HydroHub Fenne” (STEAG), “H2SYNgas” (SHS – Stahl-HoldingSaar) and “TraficHdeux” in the Saarland region, and the Saarland-French hydrogen project “mosaHYc” form part of the alliance of projects applying jointly for funding, the companies said.

The “H2SYNgas” is a project in which technology is being developed at a blast furnace operated by ROGESA Roheisengesellschaft Saar, a joint subsidiary of Dillinger and Saarstahl, to enable the use of the company’s own process gases and, in addition, substantial quantities of hydrogen for the blast furnace process. The synthesis gas generated from the company’s own process gases will be enriched with hydrogen reducing. therefore the Co2 emissions, the companies said.

The mosaHYc project aims to create a 100-km-long infrastructure that will enable hydrogen producers and consumers in the “Grande Région” to develop business models in industry, the heat market and the transport sector, they said.

The HydroHub Fenne project pursued by STEAG and Siemens Energy, which has already been selected as a “Living lab for the energy transition,” is to be the first proton exchange membrane electrolysis plant of significant scale. The plant will use electricity from renewable sources for electrolysis, producing green oxygen and green hydrogen.

The “TraficHdeux” project aims to build up the infrastructure for public transport with hydrogen-powered fuel cell trains and buses. The core of this project is the reactivation of non-electrified or only partially electrified rail lines across national borders.

Saarland state government backs bid

The projects have received the support of the Saarland state government

“We need effective hydrogen lighthouse projects with a strong signal effect both for the economy and for the public at large,” says Anke Rehlinger, minister for economic affairs, labor, energy and transport and deputy minister-president of the Saarland. “To this end, the Saarland has proclaimed the hydrogen model region, in which we – together with highly dedicated companies – are breaking new ground.

— Annalisa Villa