Hamburg Hydrogen Network is the result of the collaboration of twelve firms.

The Hamburg Hydrogen Network is made up of the companies Airbus, ArcelorMittal, Gasnetz Hamburg, GreenPlug, Hamburger Hafen and Logistik, Hamburg Port Authority, HADAG Seetouristik und Fährdienst, and Stadtreinigung Hamburg, as well as the companies behind the Hamburg Green Hydrogen Hub – Shell, Vattenfall, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, and Wärme Hamburg (Wasserstoffverbund Hamburg).

The German Federal Government and the European Union both want to fund high-profile projects that will help Europe develop a powerful hydrogen economy. The Hamburg Hydrogen Network has submitted an application to an EU-wide support program in a first collaborative initiative.

The network’s projects, which connect hydrogen production, delivery, and use across a variety of applications, will help to reduce emissions significantly. The projects of the network partners could reduce CO2 emissions in Hamburg by 170,000 tons per year by 2026. The Hamburg Hydrogen Network has the ability to reduce Hamburg’s current 16 million tons of CO2 emissions by more than 1 million tons annually by 2030, thanks to local electrolysis, sea-side imports, and link to the emerging European hydrogen network.

The Hamburg Green Hydrogen Hub’s green hydrogen will primarily substitute fossil fuels in industrial development, as well as in transportation and logistics. The use of waste heat from electrolysis in the district heating network and the thermal treatment of industrial waste would further minimize the environmental footprint of a variety of industries.

The proposed conversion of a coal power plant in Hamburg-Moorburg into a scalable 100-megawatt electrolysis plant for the development of green hydrogen from renewable energy is seen as laying the groundwork for Hamburg to develop a full hydrogen value chain. With its extensive network of possible industrial applications and service partners, the Port of Hamburg provides a unique location-specific advantage in the development of a viable hydrogen economy.

Furthermore, the network should have a number of beneficial spillover effects across Germany and Europe. It is already intertwined with other activities taking place among Germany’s northern neighbors. The development of a viable European hydrogen economy will include international cross-border cooperation, which will include renewable energy and hydrogen production facilities, integrated infrastructure and distribution, as well as a range of demand generators ranging from heavy industry to road, rail, water, and air transportation.

The twelve companies’ application to the EU-wide “Important Projects of Common European Interest” (IPCEI) funding program represents nine complementary projects aimed at achieving this goal, all of which are located near Hamburg’s port. The Federal German Government must provide financial support through the IPCEI program in order to complete this historic interconnection project and close the price gap between green hydrogen and fossil fuels.

The nine projects are:

HGHH – Hamburg Green Hydrogen Hub

The companies Shell, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), Vattenfall and municipal company Wärme Hamburg are planning to jointly produce hydrogen from wind and solar power at the Hamburg-Moorburg power plant site and utilize it in its vicinity. In addition to the construction of a scalable electrolyser with an initial output of 100 megawatts, the further development of the site into a so-called “Green Energy Hub” is planned. “The establishment of an electrolysis facility to produce green hydrogen on the site of a decommissioned coal-fired power plant is a prime example of how the transformation of fossil-fuel production sites can be achieved at other locations in Europe,” agree Fabian Ziegler (CEO Shell Deutschland), Oliver Weinmann (Geschäftsführer Vattenfall Innovation GmbH), Kentaro Hosomi (Chief Regional Officer EMEA Mitsubishi Heavy Industries) and Christian Heine (CEO Wärme Hamburg).


Airbus’ ZEROe aircraft concept is a fundamental contribution to global climate goals and aims to reduce emissions from aviation in a sustainable manner. The concept of “Hydrogen for the infrastructure and production of aeronautics in Northern Germany” (WIPLiN) provides that, in addition to the construction of a hydrogen-powered aircraft prototype, the development of hydrogen infrastructure will be promoted. “For Airbus, hydrogen is a key technology for the aviation industry of the future. This is not only about the propulsion of aircraft, but also about the infrastructure of our production site. We are one of the largest employers and industrial companies in the Hamburg region. This is why the expansion of the hydrogen industry network and further electrolysis capacity are important for us,” says Dr. André Walter, Head of Airbus Commercial Germany.


Through its production of green steel, the company aims to make a significant contribution to reducing CO2 emissions in the supply chain as part of the H2 for Hamburg (H2H) project. ArcelorMittal’s Hamburg plant will be converted to climate-neutral steel production in four steps by 2030 as part of the H2H project. These include the construction of a hydrogen-powered demonstration plant for the direct reduction of iron ore (H2First) and the technological upgrading of the existing direct reduction plant (H2Ready) to replace the long-term use of natural gas with green hydrogen. “In order to ensure the supply of green hydrogen, we rely on the local hydrogen industry network and a significant proportion of hydrogen from the Hamburg Green Hydrogen Hub,” comments Dr. Uwe Braun, CEO ArcelorMittal Hamburg.

Gasnetz Hamburg

By 2030, the company plans to build a supply-safe infrastructure for the hydrogen needs of Hamburg’s industrial sector and its national and European network through the project “Hamburger Hydrogen-Industrie-Net” (HH-WIN). Hydrogen infrastructure is the central link connecting all of these projects. The project will be developed and implemented on a demand-driven basis and in stages. “It is our declared aim to create the possibility for Hamburg’s industrial companies to replace their current gas needs with climate-neutral green hydrogen. Thanks to local electrolysis, sea-side imports and the connection to the emerging European hydrogen network as well as the neighboring North German hydrogen production centers, our hydrogen network will be able to replace about 570 million cubic meters of natural gas per year and thus save 1.2 million tons of CO2,” says Christian Heine, Managing Director of the Hamburg gas network.


Through its „H2 Schubboot“ (H2SB) project, the company has designed an emissions-free pusher boat with the power to move 2,400 tons at a speed of 10 knots. The propulsion system consists of pressurized hydrogen storage tanks and fuel cells with buffer batteries that drive the ship’s propellers via a direct current network. As the first step of this project, GreenPlug plans to build and test a pusher boat. Subsequently, it will build a further nine boats and charter them to operators. “This innovative project will strengthen the market in the design, construction and operation of ships for inland waterways, especially for those using hydrogen and fuel cell technology. We will buy green hydrogen as soon as it is available,” says Dr. Agnus Cassens, CEO of GreenPlug.

Hamburger Hafen und Logistik

The port and logistics company HHLA (Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG) plans to put various types of fuel cell heavy-duty vehicles into operation at its terminals in Hamburg (Straddle Carrier, trucks, terminal tractors, forklift trucks, empty container handlers and a shunting locomotive). “If the project is successful, we see the potential to apply the experience from Hamburg widely at our other German and numerous European sites in order to make a significant contribution to the decarbonization of European logistics,” says Lars Neumann, Director Logistics, Strategy and Business Development, Hamburg Hafen und Logistik AG.

Hamburg Port Authority

With the Hydrogen Port Applications (HyPA) project, the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) is setting two different priorities as an infrastructure provider and enabler for roads, railways and waterways in the port of Hamburg. The transformation of mobility into the post-carbon era is aimed, on the one hand, at the provision of hydrogen fueling stations for locomotives, ships and trucks and, on the other, at the construction and use of innovative hydrogen-powered vessels. “Hydrogen fuel tank infrastructure in the Hamburg harbor area allows emission-free traffic in the heavily used harbor area and is an essential step towards decarbonization,” says Jens Meier, CEO of the Hamburg Port Authority.

HADAG Seetouristik und Fährdienst AG

As the operator of public passenger ferries in the port of Hamburg, the public company of the Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg plans the use of emission-free vessels in its fleet. The H2HADAG project envisages the conversion of three new ships from diesel-hybrid to hydrogen-hybrid as well as the addition of two completely new ships (hydrogen-hybrid). “In close coordination with our partners, we count on the establishment of the necessary fueling infrastructure and will thus successfully gear our fleet towards the future,” says Dr. Tobias Haack, CEO of HADAG.

Stadtreinigung Hamburg

The Hamburg City Council is building the Center for Resources and Energy in Hamburg, Stellingen. With the project “Waste to Hydrogen for Hamburg”, it intends to use energy from the thermal recovery of non-recyclable residual materials together with the transport companies Hamburg-Holstein, Heat Hamburg, Gas Network Hamburg and Hamburg. This electricity is to be used for electrolysis and charge batteries for e-mobility. “Thanks to our waste to energy concepts, we contribute sustainably to the use of green electricity in many other areas. This includes promoting climate-friendly mobility with alternative propulsion technologies such as hydrogen refuse vehicles or buses “, says Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Siechau, Managing Director Stadtreinigung Hamburg.

Arnes Biogradlija
Creative Content Director at EnergyNews.Biz

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