Home » Archive News In Brief » News in Brief 2024 » News in Brief 01_2024 » Iqony finalizes funding agreement with EU
Fig. 1. The “HydrOxy Hub Walsum” is one of the large projects from all over Europe that are supported by the European Innovation Fund in the area of “Industrial electrification and hydrogen”. Photo: Iqony

Iqony finalizes funding agreement with EU

In the summer, the EU Commission announced that the “HydrOxy Hub Walsum” was one of the 41 major industrial projects from across Europe to be invited to start the Innovation Fund Grant Agreement Preparation. Iqony GmbH, Essen/Germany, is happy to announce that the Grant Agreement has been signed with CINEA, the European Executive Agency in charge of managing the program. Amongst the many projects which applied in “Industry Electrification and Hydrogen” topic from the Innovation Fund LSC-2022, the “HydrOxy Hub Walsum” was the only German project to be awarded such financial support (Figure 1).

With the conclusion of the legally binding agreement on EU funding, now signed by both parties, the groundbreaking hydrogen project in Duisburg-Walsum in North Rhine-Westphalia, is entering a decisive phase: “From January 2024, it will now be a matter of project implementation on the ground,” says Tanja Braun, Project Manager for HydrOxy Hub Walsum at Iqony. The application for approval will be submitted in mid-2024 and the decision on which manufacturer will construct the electrolysis plant with an initial capacity of around 150 MW is expected to be made by the autumn.

Iqony is investing an amount in the mid three-digit million range for the construction of the first stage of hydrogen production at the long-established power plant site in Walsum. The agreement now concluded on a grant from the Innovation Fund accounts for around 10 % of the total investment.

Andreas Reichel, CEO of Iqony, comments as follows: “By concluding the grant agreement, we are documenting our clear intention to implement the project at the Walsum site. At the same time, we are taking another important step forward on the path to the successful transformation of our company. And at the same time, we are proud that the HydrOxy Hub Walsum is also a significant contribution to establishing the hydrogen economy in the Ruhr region.”

The final investment decision is planned for 2025. Two years later, in the course of 2027, the first stage of the plant will finally go into operation. “After that, the plan is to increase the plant’s capacity in two-year increments to just over 500 MW by 2031,” says Braun, explaining the further progress of the project. At the same time, she makes it clear that “the funding agreement that has now been concluded only relates to the first of three planned stages of the plant.”

The green, i. e. climate-neutral, hydrogen that will be produced using renewable energies in the future will serve to decarbonize production processes in local and regional industry. In this way, the HydrOxy Hub Walsum not only contributes to the reduction of CO2 emissions and thus to the achievement of national and European climate protection targets, but also secures the future of the industrial location and the jobs associated with it.

In that respect, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the city of Duisburg also expressly support the project and welcome the grant agreement that has now been concluded as an important milestone on the way to realizing the project.

“Our goal is to make North Rhine-Westphalia the first climate-neutral industrial region in Europe. The key to a sustainable and competitive industry in the future is hydrogen. North Rhine-Westphalia has set itself the target of becoming a central hydrogen hub in Europe and is therefore doing its utmost to support the ramp-up of the hydrogen economy. In addition to importing green hydrogen, we need sufficient domestic production capacities. Pioneering projects such as the “HydrOxy Hub Walsum” are contributing to this objective to a large extent,” says Mona Neubaur, Minister for Economic Affairs, Industry, Climate Action and Energy and Deputy Prime Minister of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Duisburg’s Mayor Sören Link takes a very similar view: “Hydrogen is the core element in the next stage of structural change in the Ruhr region. Because we want to secure the economic future of the city of Duisburg and the Ruhr region as a whole and preserve local jobs in industry, we set out at an early stage to do whatever we could to support the market ramp-up of the hydrogen economy here. The Iqony project in Walsum is an important building block in this process and I am therefore very pleased that a significant milestone towards its implementation has been reached with the conclusion of the grant agreement.”

The relevance of the project outlined here is also reflected in the EU’s funding commitment: “The binding agreement to fund our project is also proof of its quality. It once again reflects Iqony’s great engineering expertise and comprehensive energy industry know-how. Being aware of these qualities of our team, we are now confidently looking forward to the implementation planning phase,” says Ralf Schiele, COO of Iqony. (Iqony/Si.)