Wintershall Dea and VNG stepping up hydrogen activities

Source: press release, 31 March 2021

illustration: Wintershall Dea
illustration: Wintershall Dea

Wintershall Dea Technology Ventures GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of Wintershall Dea GmbH, and VNG Innovation GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of VNG AG, have jointly invested in HiiROC as a potential technology partner. The company, based in Hull, England, has further developed methane pyrolysis technology to accelerate the cost-effective and CO2-free production of hydrogen.

“HiiROC’s technology offers us a lot of potential for decentralised hydrogen production,” says Andreas Berger, Managing Director of Wintershall Dea Technology Ventures GmbH.

In methane pyrolysis, natural gas is split into hydrogen and solid carbon. The hydrogen can be used as a clean, carbon-free energy source, while the solid carbon can be used as a raw material in industry, for example, in the production of plastic, rubber or similar products.

Hugo Dijkgraaf, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Executive Board Member at Wintershall Dea, explains, “We actively support the energy transition, including through investments and projects that help to drive forward low-cost, large-scale and low CO2 hydrogen production.”

The activity is aligned with Wintershall Dea’s strategic goal of minimising Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions from 2030 onwards. These emissions are predominantly generated by the combustion of the gas and oil produced by the company. Here, hydrogen is expected to play a key role alongside carbon capture and storage (CCS). Wintershall Dea is actively involved in multiple projects in these areas, including a methane pyrolysis research partnership with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, and the CCS-Project Greensand in Denmark.