EU Innovation Fund grants €108 million to RWE’s waste-to-hydrogen project FUREC

The EU Innovation Fund awarded RWE a €108 million grant for its FUREC project, which intends to create circular and green hydrogen from non-recyclable municipal solid waste in Limburg, the Netherlands.

The grant agreement was accepted by Roger Miesen, CEO of RWE Generation, at the Financing Innovative Clean Tech Conference in Brussels.

The FUREC project, which will cost more than €600 million to complete, has advanced significantly as a result of the funding from the EU Innovation Fund. With the finance committee in place, RWE moves quickly to construct the project, including obtaining all necessary permissions and clearances. Parallel to this, the business is starting to hire preferred waste suppliers, hydrogen and CO2 consumers, and companies that can supply waste in an acceptable quantity and quality. In 2024, a final investment choice will be made.

Recycle Reuse Fuse (FUREC)

RWE intends to construct a pre-treatment facility in Zevenellen, Limburg, as part of the FUREC project in order to transform municipal solid waste (MSW) that cannot be recycled into solid recovered fuel pellets. About half of the 700,000 tonnes of MSW that the plant will treat each year will be of biological origin (e.g. textiles, paper). This is the same as how much MSW has generated annually by about two million individuals.

The second RWE plant, which the company is planning to construct at the Chemelot industrial park in Limburg, will then transform the feedstock pellets from the pre-treatment plant into hydrogen. It is anticipated that the facility will produce 54.000 tonnes of hydrogen annually. For comparison, this is comparable to the production of a linked 700-megawatt offshore wind farm.

The Limburg industrial park Chemelot will be able to use less natural gas overall by utilizing this hydrogen, saving more than 280 million cubic meters annually. This is equivalent to half of Limburg’s annual domestic gas use. Around 400,000 tonnes of CO2 will be saved annually as a result. The CO2 that is generated during the generation of hydrogen is caught, and it may one day be used as a raw material by industry. Locally, the hydrogen will be sold in the Chemelot Industrial Park or shipped to businesses in Rotterdam and the Ruhr region. The grid links to the infrastructure for CO2 and hydrogen are being prepared by FUREC.

Innovative Europe Fund

The EU Innovation Fund, funded by the EU Emissions Trading System, provides funds to FUREC (ETS). In order to assist decarbonize Europe and promote its transition to climate neutrality, the Fund is anticipated to give roughly €38 billion in funding for the commercial demonstration of breakthrough low-carbon technologies over the period 2020–2030.

Important economic factor in Europe

By making it easier to tap into the enormous potential of the circular economy to achieve the EU’s climate ambitions, FUREC is a game-changer in the fields of CO2 reduction, hydrogen production, and waste management. For future roll-outs at other sites in the Netherlands and Europe, RWE sees FUREC as a model. The expansion of FUREC has been closely watched in recent years in the province of Limburg, where Chemelot is situated.