Energy imports - Hamburg to become decarbonising hub

Hydrogen co-operation between Germany and UAE - Hamburg aims to become national H2 import and distribution centre
23 March 2022
View of Köhlbrand Bridge in Port of Hamburg

Plans are being laid to set up a hydrogen value chain between Germany and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on the heels of an agreement reached by Robert Habeck, Germany’s Minister for Economics, during his visit to Abu Dhabi on March 21, 2022. Hamburg’s hydrogen import strategy may yet be pivotal to advancing the decarbonisation of industry and boosting the supply of green energy in future. 

Hamburg to become Europe's green energy hub

"The co-operation and measures agreed upon in Abu Dhabi support Hamburg's goals of decarbonising industry and transforming the city into a European green energy hub," said Michael Westhagemann, Senator for Economics. Hamburg is predestined to serve as an import and distribution centre for green hydrogen. "Our goal is to meet the demand for hydrogen in Germany and Europe as the Green Hydrogen Hub Europe."

The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNPOC) is already planning a test delivery of hydrogen storage ammonia via Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) to the Hamburg-based metal company Arubis. If successful, ammonia could be used as a CO2-neutral energy carrier in copper production. Compared to hydrogen, it is easier, more efficient and cheaper to store and transport. The transport chain pilot project with "blue ammonia" could form the basis for medium-term imports of green hydrogen, according to the Federal Ministry of Economics (BMWI).

Emirati-German energy partnership in place since 2017

The UAE offers "very good conditions for the cost-effective production of hydrogen from renewable energies," according to BMWI. The first hydrogen deliveries could take place as early as this year. Habeck also visited the planned large eco-model city Masdar City near Abu Dhabi and a solar plant nearby. The Emirati-German energy partnership has been in place since 2017.