RWE, Shell, Gasunie and Equinor have signed a declaration of intent to further intensify their collaboration on the AquaSector project, the first large-scale German offshore hydrogen park and part of the AquaVentus offshore wind-to-hydrogen initiative.
AquaSector involves installing approx. 300 MW electrolyser capacity to produce up to 20,000 tonnes of offshore green hydrogen per year, using offshore wind energy, and transporting hydrogen via the AquaDuctus pipeline to Heligoland, starting in 2028.
The first step for the partners now is to carry out a detailed feasibility study, which will provide important initial indications of the conditions under which the large-scale offshore hydrogen park can be successfully realised, as well as the technical and commercial challenges which need to be overcome in regards to offshore hydrogen production.
According to the companies behind AquaSector, the project will be a ‘proof of concept’ for the realisation of the massive AquaVentus development, planned to be realised by 2035, which encompasses several sub-projects revolving around green hydrogen production powered by 10 GW of offshore wind installed in the North Sea.
Equinor, along with several other major energy players, joined the AquaVentus consortium a few months ago.
With the AquaSector electrolysis project up in 2028, the partners aim to demonstrate that in Germany offshore based hydrogen production enables an efficient, cost-effective and sustainable way to produce green hydrogen.
Compared to the transport of electricity generated offshore, the hydrogen production at sea and the transport via pipeline could offer clear economic advantages. The pipeline could replace five High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) transmission systems, which would otherwise have to be built. It is by far the most cost-effective option for transporting large volumes of energy over long distances, the partners said.
“As part of the AquaVentus project family and together with the entire initiative the partners want to contribute towards the decarbonisation of energy supply in Germany and Europe. AquaSector is therefore a key milestone in the implementation of the German and European hydrogen strategies”, the AquaSector partners stated in a press release.