Vattenfall and Preem Looking to Decarbonise Swedish Refining Industry with Offshore Wind

Vattenfall and Preem, Sweden’s largest fuel company, are entering into a feasibility phase to assess the possibility of accelerating the development of a value chain connecting offshore wind and hydrogen with the refining industry on the Swedish west coast.

The aim of the collaboration is to enable a swift transition within the refining industry towards fossil-free fuels, starting in 2030 at the latest, Vattenfall said.

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Vattenfall sees a huge potential to decarbonize industries like refining, petrochemicals, steel, and fertilizers by using fossil-free electricity and hydrogen.

Preem and Vattenfall believe that in order to strengthen Sweden’s position as a frontrunner in the emerging markets of fossil-free fuels and materials, new partnerships between fossil-free energy suppliers and decarbonizing industries and innovative cooperations are needed.

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There is a highly specialised refinery and petrochemicals industry on the Swedish west coast, a great potential for offshore wind power, and a strong desire to transform throughout the region, Vattenfall said. With the recently announced plans by Swedish TSO (Svenska Kraftnät) to expand the transmission network to areas, like the Swedish west coast, within Sweden’s maritime territory, an important framework is set to realize such ambitions.

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”For Vattenfall, the electrification of society and industry is at the core of our business strategy. Our strong and growing Swedish offshore wind development portfolio of currently more than 20 TWh offers ample opportunities,” said Anna Borg, President and CEO of Vattenfall.

”Therefore, Vattenfall has taken the initiative for this concept development on the west coast, where offshore wind and hydrogen production can play a key role, in the transformation to a fossil free industry. Cross sector cooperation and partnerships are the way forward.”

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Preem has begun its transition from fossil fuels to a renewable and climate-neutral value chain in 2035. Fossil-free hydrogen enables both decarbonization of the refineries and an increased production of renewable fuels such as HVO, renewable gasoline, and sustainable aviation fuels. An increased supply of fossil-free hydrogen also enables Preem to explore the development of e-fuels for hard-to decarbonize segments like aviation and maritime.

”The society’s need for renewable fuels is increasing at high speed but the supply of necessary fossil-free hydrogen is still scarce. A new infrastructure for hydrogen from offshore wind could swiftly increase supply and speed up our transition towards a climate neutral value chain and enable production of 5 million cubic meters renewable fuels and e-fuels no later than in 2035. This can only be achieved if we work together and partner up,” said Magnus Heimburg, Preem CEO.

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Photo: Vattenfall; Illustration