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Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Partner in Newly Established Hamburg Hydrogen Network to ‘Make Hamburg Greener’


Twelve companies join forces to form Hamburg Hydrogen Network / Potential annual CO2 savings of more than one million tons / Financial support needed

Hamburg, 26 April 2021 –The companies Airbus, ArcelorMittal, Gasnetz Hamburg, GreenPlug, Hamburger Hafen und Logistik, Hamburg Port Authority, HADAG Seetouristik und Fährdienst as well as Stadtreinigung Hamburg, together with the companies behind the Hamburg Green Hydrogen Hub – namely Shell, Vattenfall, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Wärme Hamburg - have formed the Hamburg Hydrogen Network (Wasserstoffverbund Hamburg).

Twelve companies join forces to form Hamburg Hydrogen Networ

Twelve companies join forces to form Hamburg Hydrogen Network (© Wärme Hamburg)

Both the German Federal Government and the European Union want to support high-profile projects in order to lay the foundation for a strong hydrogen economy in Europe. In a first joint effort, the Hamburg Hydrogen Network has submitted an application under an EU-wide support program.

The network’s projects, linking hydrogen production, distribution and utilization across a range of applications, will contribute to significant emission reductions. Already as of 2026, the network partners’ projects could reduce CO2 emissions in Hamburg by 170,000 tons each year. Thanks to local electrolysis, sea-side imports and connection to the emerging European hydrogen network, the Hamburg Hydrogen Network has the potential to reduce Hamburg’s current 16 million tons in CO2 emissions by more than 1 million tons annually by 2030.

The green hydrogen produced by the Hamburg Green Hydrogen Hub primarily would replace fossil fuels in industrial production as well as in the transport and logistics sector. The additional utilization of the waste heat from the electrolysis for the district heating network and the thermal treatment of municipal waste would reduce the environmental footprint of a variety of industries even further.

The planned conversion of a coal power plant in Hamburg-Moorburg into a scalable 100-megawatt electrolysis plant for the production of green hydrogen from renewable energy, is seen as the foundation for building a complete hydrogen value chain in Hamburg. The Port of Hamburg, with its wide network of potential industrial applications and service partners, offers a unique location-specific advantage to creating a viable hydrogen economy.

Positive Spillover Effects

In addition, the network should produce a variety of positive spillover effects throughout Germany and across Europe. It is already closely linked to other activities among Germany’s northern neighbors. International cross-border collaboration will be pivotal to the creation of a viable European hydrogen economy that includes renewable energy and hydrogen production facilities, integrated infrastructure and distribution as well as a variety of demand generators from heavy industries to road, rail, water and air transport.

The application submitted by the twelve companies to the EU-wide "Important Projects of Common European Interest" (IPCEI) funding program represents nine complementary projects to achieve this objective – all in the vicinity of the Port of Hamburg. Financial support by the Federal German Government under the IPCEI program is necessary to implement this landmark interconnection project and close the price gap between green hydrogen and fossil solutions.

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.

- Ends -

Background: "Important Projects of Common European Interest" (IPCEI)

The European Commission has established a program of "Important Projects of Common European Interest" (IPCEI) which allows for exemptions from the strict ban on state aid. The aim is to promote a coordinated approach between EU countries in order to address serious market disturbances and particular societal challenges. The "IPCEI Hydrogen" aims to contribute to the market development of hydrogen technologies and systems throughout the hydrogen value chain, taking into account the objectives at EU level. Until 19 February 2021, companies in Germany were able to signal their interest in funding under this program by presenting preliminary project sketches to the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs.

About the Companies


Airbus pioneers sustainable aerospace for a safe and united world. The Company constantly innovates to provide efficient and technologically-advanced solutions in aerospace, defence, and connected services. In commercial aircraft, Airbus offers modern and fuel-efficient airliners and associated services. Airbus is also a European leader in defence and security and one of the world's leading space businesses. In helicopters, Airbus provides the most efficient civil and military rotorcraft solutions and services


ArcelorMittal is the world's leading steel and mining company with a presence in 60 countries and steel production plants in 18 countries. In 2020, ArcelorMittal had sales of $ 53.3 billion and crude steel production of 71.5 million tons, while iron ore production reached 58 million tons. With a production volume of around 8 million tons of crude steel, ArcelorMittal is one of the largest steel manufacturers in Germany. The automotive, construction and packaging industries are just as much a customer base as the household goods sector. The company operates four large production sites in Germany. This includes two integrated flat steel mills in Bremen and Eisenhüttenstadt as well as two long steel mills in Hamburg and Duisburg. Our goal is to contribute to a better world with smarter steels - steels that are manufactured using innovative processes that use less energy, emit significantly less CO2 and reduce costs.

Gasnetz Hamburg

The Gasnetz Hamburg GmbH is a 100% city-owned company and operates the natural gas network in the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg with approximately 7,900 kilometers in length, about 160,000 domestic connections and almost 230,000 network customers. The network includes high-, medium-, low-pressure and domestic connections as well as around 600 gas pressure control systems. The management and monitoring of the network shall be carried out through a central control center. The Hamburg gas network prepares the infrastructure for increasing inputs of green gas such as bio-methane and hydrogen. This will enable the gas network to make an even greater contribution to climate protection in Hamburg.


GreenPlug is a Hamburg Joint Venture for building and operating renewable harbour solutions. It offers emission free pusher boats based on hydrogen and fuel cells as well as low emission E-Power-Barges. GreenPlug is building on the knowhow and experiences of the Eckelmann Group and Westnetz GmbH.

Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA)

Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) is one of Europe’s leading logistics companies. With a tight network of seaport terminals in Hamburg, Odessa, Tallinn and Trieste, excellent hinterland connections and well-connected intermodal hubs in Central and Eastern Europe, HHLA represents a logistics and digital hub along the transport flows of the future. Its business model is based on innovative technologies and is committed to sustainability.

HPA - Hamburg Port Authority

The Hamburg Port Authority AöR (HPA) has been providing future-oriented port management services offering one face to the customer since 2005. To ensure safe and efficient processes in the Port of Hamburg and meet the demands of a growing port, the HPA relies on intelligent and innovative solutions. The HPA is responsible for resource-efficient, sustainable planning and the implementation of infrastructure projects in the port. It is the contact point for all kinds of questions concerning the waterside and landside infrastructure, the safety of navigation for vessels, port railway facilities, port property management and business conditions in the port. The HPA ensures the provision of land as required, carries out all statutory duties placed on it and provides port industry services. It markets port-specific technical knowledge and represents the interests of the Port of Hamburg at a national and international level.


Since 1888, the HADAG Seetouristik und Fährdienst AG (HADAG) has been operating a ferry service within the Hamburg port and on the river Elbe. As a result, they became an indispensable part of the fast and attractive public urban transport in Hamburg. The HADAG currently owns and operates 26 ferries on 8 fixed routes, carrying approx. 10 million passengers per year. The ferries are of a special custom made design, mainly operated by only one crew member. The ferry service is characterized by highly varying loads during transit as well as the passenger exchange process at the 21 stations.


The energy company Shell is one of the pioneers in hydrogen mobility and the production of green hydrogen; main markets include Germany and the Netherlands. In July 2021, for example, one of the world's first hydrogen electrolysers to produce green hydrogen will start production at the Shell Energy and Chemicals Park Rheinland. Shell is also involved in the joint project Aqua Ventus, which aims to install 10 gigawatts of offshore electrolysis capacity in the North Sea near Helgoland by 2035, as well as in wind-hydrogen projects such as NortH2 in the Netherlands. In the transport sector, Shell is working with the leading manufacturers of commercial vehicles on the logistics for commercial vehicles with fuel cell drive.

Stadtreinigung Hamburg

Stadtreinigung Hamburg (SRH) is Hamburg’s largest service provider in the area of waste and resource management. With around 4,000 employees in the Group, it offers the collection of valuable materials and waste disposal as well as cleaning services to public, commercial and private clients as a full-service partner. As a municipal disposal provider and certified waste management company, the SRH collects, transports, stores and handles waste from over a million Hamburg households and 100,000 commercial enterprises. In addition, SRH staff clean 5,808 km of tracks per week, 5,582 km of walking paths and maintain green areas, beaches, parks and public playgrounds in Hamburg. Since the beginning of 2020, the SRH has been the sole shareholder of the Rugenberger Damm (MVR) waste disposal plant. Together with the Borsigstraße (MVB) waste treatment plant and the Bützberg biogas and composting plant, the biggest waste recovery plants in Hamburg are all in one hand. Last year, SRH generated 1,502,999 MWh of electricity and heat in its plants, saving 182,197 tons of CO2.


Vattenfall is a European energy company with approximately 20,000 employees. For more than 100 years we have electrified industries, supplied energy to people's homes and modernised our way of living through innovation and cooperation. We are determined to enable fossil-free living within one generation. To succeed we must become fossil free ourselves. But that's not enough. We are looking beyond our own industry to see where we can really make a difference. Together with our partners, we are taking on the responsibility to find new and sustainable ways to electrify transportation, industries and

Wärme Hamburg

Wärme Hamburg GmbH is a city owned company which provides heat for 500.000 household equivalents. The company will phase out heat generation from coal until 2030 and focuses on utilizing waste heat from industry, sewage and waste incineration plants. Wärme Hamburg is concentrating its efforts in the hydrogen project on utilizing waste heat and developing the power plant site Moorburg towards a green energy hub. Wärme Hamburg holds a market share in Hamburg’s heat market of 22 %.

Tags: energy transition,decarbonized,Green Hydrogen

About MHI Group

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Group is one of the world’s leading industrial groups, spanning energy, smart infrastructure, industrial machinery, aerospace and defense. MHI Group combines cutting-edge technology with deep experience to deliver innovative, integrated solutions that help to realize a carbon neutral world, improve the quality of life and ensure a safer world. For more information, please visit or follow our insights and stories on