RWE takes over Magnum power plant in Eemshaven from Vattenfall

RWE is to take over the Magum power plant from Vattenfall. The intention is that the gas-fired power station will play an important role in the transition of electricity production in the Netherlands through the use of hydrogen.

This will enable Eemshaven to grow into a leading energy and hydrogen hub in northwestern Europe. The power station is already almost suitable for using hydrogen as a fuel. The acquisition involves an amount of 500 million euros.

Bid on wind farm

Roger Miesen of RWE: “The Magnum power plant is an ultramodern power plant that is almost ready for the production of hydrogen. In combination with our existing power station in Eemshaven, RWE can develop the Eemshaven area into one of the leading energy and hydrogen hubs in Northwestern Europe. For example, supplemented by the Hollandse Kust West offshore wind farm, which also provides 600 megawatts of electrolysis capacity and for which RWE has made a bid, we want to actively support the decarbonisation (reduction of CO2 emissions, ed.) of the industry in the Netherlands and on this contribute to achieving the Dutch climate objectives.”

The power station, with a capacity of 1.4 gigawatts, is close to the existing RWE power station in Eemshaven. This is a coal and biomass fired power plant with a capacity of 1,560 megawatts. An advantage of the power stations being close to each other is that they can share the existing infrastructure.

Gas plant is suitable for hydrogen

Thanks to the specific design of the Magnum power station, it is suitable for running on green hydrogen. The power station can be made technically suitable to co-fire hydrogen (up to 30%) or even completely switch to this fuel as a replacement for natural gas. The Magnum power station will thus be an important player in making the Dutch energy sector CO2-free. Moreover, this will further expand the hydrogen infrastructure in the province of Groningen. RWE is already active here with the ‘Eemshydrogen’ project.

Sopna Sury, the boss of RWE’s hydrogen branch: “We are strengthening the Eemshydrogen project with the acquisition of the Magnum power station in Eemshaven. Here we want to enable large-scale production of green hydrogen so that it becomes affordable. Green hydrogen plays an important role in the decarbonisation of industry and is therefore indispensable for the success of the energy transition.”

Since 2020, RWE has been developing Eemshydrogen, an innovative project in the Eemshaven for the environmentally friendly production of hydrogen. As part of the tender for the Hollandse Kust West VII offshore wind farm, RWE also wants to build electrolysers with a total capacity of 600 megawatts.

Eemshaven area can become CO2 negative

With the help of new technologies, it will be possible in the future to capture and capture carbon, because the Magnum power station and the Eemshaven power station are close to the North Sea and the former natural gas fields. ‘This will ensure neutral CO2 emissions in the area,’ RWE expects, ‘probably even negative CO2 emissions.’ RWE therefore hopes to receive the required support from the government to make this technically, politically and economically feasible.

Gasunie is currently developing LNG terminals (liquefied natural gas) in the same area. These can be additionally supported by, for example, heat supplied by RWE’s power stations.

The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of September 2022. Another part of the acquisition concerns a solar installation with a capacity of 5.6 megawatts located on the same site. RWE will take over all staff working at the Magnum power station from Vattenfall. The acquisition still has to be approved by Vattenfall’s works council, among others.