Wacker Chemie resubmits green H2 project for EU funding

Image by Wacker Chemie AG.

March 8 (Renewables Now) - Wacker Chemie AG (ETR:WCH) has reapplied for EU funding for a EUR-100-million (USD 108.9m) project for the production of green hydrogen and methanol that is meant to cut the carbon footprint of the German chemical company.

Wacker Chemie is seeking again funding in the double-digit million range from the European Commission's EU Innovation Fund for its Renewable Hydrogen and Methanol (RHYME) Bavaria project after an unsuccessful first attempt in 2020. The decision to resubmit the application was made after the fund's annual budget was raised to EUR 1.5 billion from EUR 1 billion, Wacker Chemie said on Monday.

The RHYME project envisages the construction of a 20-MW electrolysis plant at Wacker Chemie's Burghausen site in Bavaria to produce hydrogen from water with renewable power. With the help of carbon dioxide from existing production processes at the company, the green hydrogen will be then turned into renewable methanol which is used as a starting material for chemical products such as silicones. The plant is expected to produce about 15,000 tonnes of methanol per year.

"Our RHYME Bavaria goal is to narrow our carbon footprint even further. By producing green hydrogen and using it as a material, we are making an essential contribution toward markedly reducing fossil resources in chemical processes and products," said chief executive Christian Hartel.

Wacker Chemie noted that such a project could not be realised without state funding as it is not economical under the current conditions.

The Munich-based company seeks to reach carbon neutrality by 2045 and considers the RHYME project an initial step in the decarbonisation of the chemical industry in Bavaria.

(EUR 1 = USD 1.090)

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