RWE acquires 1.4 gigawatt power plant from Vattenfall and develops Eemshaven into a leading energy and hydrogen hub in northwestern Europe

RWE will take over the gas-fired power plant called ‘Magnum’ from Vattenfall. This gas-fired power plant is located in Eemshaven in the province of Groningen. The two companies have agreed on this. The power plant, which has been in operation since 2013, is a state-of-the-art gas-fired power plant and has a capacity of 1.4 gigawatts. Thanks to the specific design of the Magnum power plant, it is suitable for running on green hydrogen.

The Magnum plant is located close to the existing RWE plant in Eemshaven. This is a coal and biomass fired power plant with a capacity of 1,560 megawatts. An advantage of the power plants being close to each other is that they can share the existing infrastructure.

Gas systems are suitable for hydrogen

Thanks to the specific design of the Magnum power plant, it is suitable for running on green hydrogen. The power plant can be made technically suitable for co-firing hydrogen (up to 30%) or even completely switch to this fuel as a replacement for natural gas. The Magnum plant will thus be an important player in making the Dutch energy sector CO2-free. In addition, this will further expand the hydrogen infrastructure in the province of Groningen. RWE is already active here with the ‘Eemshydrogen’ project.

Sopna Sury, COO Hydrogen at RWE Generation SE: “We are strengthening the Eemshydrogen project with the acquisition of the Magnum power plant in Eemshaven. Here we will enable large-scale production of green hydrogen, making it affordable. Green hydrogen plays an important role in the decarbonisation of industry and is therefore indispensable for the success of energy conversion. “

Since 2020, RWE has developed Eemshydrogen, an innovative project in Eemshaven for environmentally friendly production of hydrogen. As part of the supply of the Dutch Coast West VII offshore wind farm, RWE also wants to build electrolysers with a total capacity of 600 megawatts. This gives the province of Groningen a solid position in the Dutch hydrogen economy.

The Eemshaven area can become CO2-negative

Using new techniques, carbon capture and capture (Carbon Capture Storage, CCS) will be possible in the future because the Magnum plant and the Eemshaven plant are close to the North Sea and the former natural gas fields. This will ensure neutral CO2 emissions in the area, probably even negative CO2 emissions. RWE therefore hopes to receive the necessary support from the government to make this technically, politically and economically possible.

Gasunie is currently developing LNG (liquefied natural gas) terminals in the same area. These can be further supported by e.g. heat supplied by RWE’s power plants.

By combining all these smart techniques and solutions, RWE makes Eemshaven one of the leading energy and hydrogen hubs in North-West Europe.

Completion of acquisition at the end of September 2022

The acquisition is expected to be completed before the end of September 2022. The agreed purchase price is EUR 500 million. Another part of the acquisition concerns a solar cell plant with a capacity of 5.6 megawatts located in the same place. RWE will take over all staff working at the Magnum power plant from Vattenfall. The acquisition must still be approved by, among others, Vattenfall’s cooperation committee.

RWE has been supporting the Dutch government in the energy transition for many years. The Netherlands is one of the most important markets where RWE wants to expand its renewable energy portfolio further. RWE currently operates seven onshore wind farms here with a total installed capacity of more than 330 MW (RWE’s pro rata share), and several projects are under development and construction. RWE also operates and develops solar parks here, such as the floating solar park at Amercentrale. In addition to the Eemshydrogen project, RWE is also working on the development of onshore and offshore hydrogen projects, such as H2opZee, NortH2 and FUREC, all of which contribute to the decarbonisation of the industry.

Photo: Vattenfall

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