German Firms Sign Agreements with UAE to Build Hydrogen Supply Chain

Germany’s economy ministry confirmed that German energy companies have signed agreements with firms in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to build up a hydrogen supply chain. The move comes as the country’s administration seeks ways to cut carbon emissions and reduce its reliance on Russian energy.

Heyden, Uniper's power plant in Petershagen (Northrhine-Westphalia), Germany. Credit: Uniper website

Heyden, Uniper’s power plant in Petershagen (Northrhine-Westphalia), Germany. Credit: Uniper website

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck visited Gulf states to sign the deals and discuss long-term energy supplies. The government is actively investing in cleaner energy and aiming to cut its reliance on Russian energy as part of Western efforts to put pressure on Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.

A joint demonstration project will be undertaken by Germany’s Uniper and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), in collaboration with JERA Americas, the German government said when speaking to the media.

The agreement will see all three companies work together to build a supply chain of hydrogen produced by renewable energy from the UAE to Wilhelmshaven in Germany, based on Hydrogenious’ Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carriers (LOHC) technology.

Hydrogen from sources like wind and solar is recognized as an important clean energy source. But it is a very light element, making it potentially difficult and costly to transport over large distances.

A statement issued by Uniper in Germany said the consortium would tackle these challenges by combining ADNOC’s energy sources, JERA Americas’ energy trading experience and Uniper’s involvement in Middle Eastern hydrogen projects and customer base with Hydrogenious’ expertise.

ADNOC also signed contracts with German copper manufacturer Aurubis and energy firms RWE, Steag and GEWEC to ship “blue ammonia” (a low carbon method of producing the compound) to Germany.

Hamburger Hafen & Logistik AG and ADNOC will cooperate to transport the blue ammonia.

The CEO of Thyssenkrupp, which hopes to list its hydrogen unit Nucera on the stock market this year, accompanied Habeck on the trip.

Additionally, German research organizations, the Fraunhofer Society and the Emirati Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure agreed to deepen the exchange of expertise in sustainable energy and applied hydrogen technology.

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