RWE Acquires 1.4 Gigawatt Vattenfall Power Station and Develops Eemshaven Site into Leading Energy and Hydrogen Hub in Northwest Europe

RWE is to acquire the “Magnum” gas-fired power station in Eemshaven, the Netherlands, in the province of Groningen from Vattenfall. The two companies have signed an agreement to this effect. The plant, which has been in operation since 2013, is one of the most modern power plants of its kind and has an installed capacity of 1.4 gigawatts.

Magnum is located in the immediate vicinity of RWE’s existing power plant in Eemshaven, a coal and biomass power plant with a capacity of 1,560 megawatts. Thus, RWE expects full benefits from local infrastructure sharing.

Gas plant already ready for hydrogen

Thanks to its construction design, Magnum is already “hydrogen-ready” today: the plant can be made technically capable of co-combusting hydrogen up to 30%. Additionally, there could also be the possibility of converting Magnum to rely on hydrogen as its sole fuel by the end of the decade. Magnum not only supports the decarbonisation of the Dutch energy sector, but also the local expansion of hydrogen infrastructure in the province of Groningen, in which RWE is already actively involved via the “Eemshydrogen” project cluster.

Sopna Sury, COO Hydrogen of RWE Generation SE: “With the acquisition of the Eemshaven power station, we are strengthening our cluster of Eemshydrogen projects. On this site, we want to advance the production of low-cost hydrogen on a large scale. Hydrogen is the key element in the decarbonization of industry and therefore an important pillar for the success of the energy transition.”

Since 2020, RWE has been developing Eemshydrogen, an innovative environmentally friendly hydrogen production project in Eemshaven. As part of the tender for the Hollandse Kust West VII offshore wind farm, RWE also plans to build electrolyzers with a total capacity of 600 megawatts. This would sustainably develop the province of Groningen into one of the focal points of the Dutch hydrogen economy.

The Eemshaven site could be CO2 negative

The close proximity to the Dutch North Sea and the surrounding ancient natural gas fields will also allow the Eemshaven power plant of Magnum and RWE to use carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies in the future. This would allow the Eemshaven site to be operated not only as a CO2 neutral, but with a negative CO2 production. RWE hopes to secure the necessary government support to make this technically, politically and economically feasible.

At the port of Eemshaven in the province of Groningen, in the immediate vicinity of Magnum, Gasunie is developing LNG (liquefied natural gas) terminals, which can be additionally supplied, for example, by heat supplied by RWE power stations.

A holistic use of the Eemshaven site thus enables RWE to create one of the main energy and hydrogen hubs in northwestern Europe.

Closing of the transaction by the end of September 2022

Completion of the transaction is expected by the end of September 2022. The agreed purchase price corresponds to an enterprise value of 500 million euros. Another part of the transaction is a solar power plant with a capacity of 5.6 megawatts installed on the site. RWE will take over the entire Magnum workforce at Vattenfall. The transaction is subject, among other things, to the opinion of the works council of Vattenfall.

For many years, RWE has been supporting the Dutch government in advancing the energy transition. The Netherlands is one of the key markets where RWE wants to further expand its renewable energy portfolio. Here, RWE currently operates seven onshore wind farms with a total installed capacity of over 330 MW (RWE’s pro rata share) with further projects under development and construction. In addition, RWE operates and develops solar farms, including the floating solar project in Amer. Besides Eemshydrogen, RWE is also working on the development of onshore and offshore hydrogen projects, such as H2opZee, NortH2 and FUREC, all of which contribute to decarbonizing the industry.