Germany’s nationalized gas importer and trader, SEFE, has expressed keen interest in venturing into the realm of clean hydrogen production. This strategic shift comes as part of SEFE’s broader commitment to spearhead the transition towards sustainable energy sources.
SEFE’s CEO, Egbert Laege, revealed the company’s aspirations during the Handelsblatt Gas 2023 conference, stating, “We will look closely at entering hydrogen production.” This statement underscores the growing recognition of hydrogen’s pivotal role in the clean energy landscape.
At present, the global market for green hydrogen—produced through the electrolysis of renewable power to generate clean gases—is in its nascent stages. Recognizing this, SEFE is exploring a path similar to earlier collaborations between energy traders and producers that catalyzed the development of liquefied natural gas (LNG) markets.
Beyond its commitment to green energy, SEFE has pragmatic reasons for venturing into hydrogen. The company operates under the oversight of the Economy Ministry and faces EU regulations that necessitate divestment of state participations, a process initiated last year as a bailout measure when Russian gas receipts dwindled, and market positions weakened.
In tandem with these ambitions, SEFE is closely watching developments within Gascade, a subsidiary of WIGA (a 50/50 joint holding company between Wintershall Dea and SEFE). Gascade is actively pursuing plans for green hydrogen pipelines, which has piqued SEFE’s interest in potentially increasing its 50% stake in these critical infrastructure projects.
SEFE’s foray into hydrogen production and investment in green hydrogen pipelines symbolizes a profound shift in Germany’s energy landscape. As the nation marches towards a sustainable future, SEFE’s strategic pivot towards hydrogen is poised to play a pivotal role in shaping the energy transition.