Turbocharger for Hamburg's green hydrogen goals

31 May 2021
Half a billion euros in funding for hydrogen projects in metropolitan region

The German Ministry of Economics and Technology and the German Ministry of Transport presented Friday (May 28, 2021) 62 large-scale hydrogen projects including 12 in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region that are to receive government funding under the so-called Hydrogen Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI). The Hamburg Metropolitan Region is particularly suitable for developing a green hydrogen sector and will offer a complete hydrogen ecosystem with short distances near the Port of Hamburg in future, according to OECD. The decision offers an opportunity to shape Hamburg’s future as an industrial, port-lying centre based on a green hydrogen sector.

EUR 520 million in funds

Projects in Hamburg are to receive some EUR 520 million after several companies had expressed interest in "IPCEI Hydrogen", said Peter Altmaier, German Minister of Economics and Technology and Andreas Scheuer, German Minister of Transport. The City of Hamburg will also be included in advance joint funding set at 30 per cent. 

The funding will go towards projects linked to a future hydrogen value chain by several well-known companies in Hamburg. "Hydrogen is the main carrier of the energy transition. Produced from renewable energies, it can replace coal, crude oil and natural gas. Decarbonization in industry and the economy can gain momentum via the inclusion of Hamburg's projects in the IPCEI program," said Peter Tschentscher, Mayor of Hamburg. The city is predestined for a leading role as a hub and industrial centre and through its research institutions, 

Select projects

Apart from projects focusing on metallurgy, aviation and ports, the selected projects include Gasnetz Hamburg GmbH's HH-WIN project with an approximately 60-kilometre pure hydrogen network, which will supplement infrastructure in neighbouring German states such as the HyPerLink project and boost the grid in the city itself. The conversion of the Moorburg coal-fired power plant into a key hydrogen site is an important part of this network. Shell, Vattenfall, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and the municipal Wärme Hamburg GmbH plan to use a scalable large-scale electrolyser with 100+ MW capacity there.

Possible solutions for tomorrow's challenges

Michael Westhagemann, Senator for Economics, commented: "The projects selected for funding in Hamburg's joint application take a collaborative approach, develop hand-in-hand approaches to solutions for the ecological, economic and industrial policy challenges in the Port of Hamburg - and are linked to a supra-regional north German hydrogen network.” The funding will transform Hamburg and northern Germany into a European nucleus of hydrogen and ramp-up of a modern hydrogen sector thereby strengthening pan-European economic clout. "Hamburg represents the entire value chain for this and can become a blueprint for many international regions, " he added. 

Preconditions in place 

The spatial concentration of industry, the proximity between possible production and import sites and customers for hydrogen as well as links to trans-European transport networks means Hamburg offers ideal conditions for making the best possible use of the funding. "This decision is a huge success for Hamburg. The senate, urban companies and industry recognized the opportunities early on and planned projects. Their efforts are now paying off," said Jens Kerstan, Senator for the Environment. Nearly all of the projects in Hamburg's joint application can expect millions in funds from the German government which will in turbocharge a green hydrogen sector in the Elbe region.


Sources and further information

100 megawatt electrolyser in Port of Hamburg

The electrolyser in the Port of Hamburg is the most ambitious project on the city's green hydrogen agenda. Vattenfall, Shell, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and Hamburg Wärme signed a memorandum of understanding in January 2021 to build one of the world's largest green hydrogen power plants. The new mega-electrolyser will have a capacity of 100 megawatts and will meet the needs of local industry. It is due to be built by 2025.



Created by the European Commission, IPCEI allows projects to be exempted from bans on state aid. The aim is to promote a co-ordinated approach between EU members and to address serious market disruptions and societal challenges. The "IPCEI Hydrogen" scheme should ramp-up the market for hydrogen technologies and systems along the entire value chain and take account of the EU’s objectives.

Overview of IPCEI projects in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region:

Energy generation

·       Green Hydrogen Hub Hamburg – Shell, Vattenfall, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Wärme Hamburg GmbH

·       HH-WIN – Gasnetz Hamburg

·       AquaVentus – RWE Renewables (Helgoland)


·       AquaVentus – GASCADE (Helgoland)

Industrial use 

·       H2H – ArcelorMittal

·       e-Methanol Projekt – DOW Stade

·       Hyscale 100 – Holcim (Dithmarschen)

Mobility use

·       WIPLin – Airbus

·       H2Load – Hamburger Hafen und Logistik

·       HyPA – Hamburg Port Authority

·       H2 HADAG – HADAG Seetouristik und Fährdienst

·       H2SB – Green Plug

Overview of the funded projects


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