Hamburger Energiewerke purchases cogeneration plant in Moorburg

Plans for hydrogen site in port progressing
08 March 2023
Green Hydrogen Hub im Hamburger Hafen

Hamburger Energiewerke has acquired all the remaining land and infrastructure on the site of the former coal-fired power plant in Moorburg after becoming the official owner of Vattenfall Heizkraftwerk Moorburg GmbH in March and taking over 94 employees. Hamburger Energiewerke now aims to build hydrogen infrastructure there. A "Green Hydrogen Hub" electrolyser is to be built on site using certain parts of the former combined heat and power plant.

Hamburg as "European nucleus" of hydrogen sector

"Moorburg is linked to green hydrogen production like no other site," said Melanie Leonhard, Senator for Economics. The electrolyser is essential to a hydrogen alliance project involving industry and the energy sector. A pipeline system will link up the Moorburg plant with companies across the city and the hyperlink supra-regional pipeline system. "We are positioning Hamburg as a European nucleus from which the ramp-up of a modern hydrogen economy can be driven forward thereby strengthening pan-European economic clout," she added.

EU funding for electrolyser 

Commenting on the site, Jens Kerstan, Senator for the Environment, remarked: "Moorburg is ideal for developing a hydrogen economy because of its location and connection to pipelines and transport routes." The electrolyser will be funded by the EU's "Important Project of Common European Interest“ (IPCEI) scheme and funds from the City of Hamburg. Kerstan added: "The cornerstone for Hamburg as a leading centre of hydrogen will be laid in Moorburg with the Hamburg Hydrogen Industry Network (HH-WIN)."

More leeway by acquiring site

"Large-scale hydrogen production can be set up and the existing power plant dismantled by the same source. Naturally, there are conflicting interests and challenges under licensing law between dismantling and building new infrastructure. The purchase allows us to avoid these conflicts in future," says Christian Heine, spokesman for Hamburger Energiewerke. The Moorburg power plant was shut down in July 2021 as Germany gears up to phase out coal.