The German economy is undergoing a period of upheaval. The automotive industry is
investing billions in developing new powertrain technologies and mobility services, while
manufacturing industries and mechanical engineering are becoming greener and more
sustainable. Following the phase-out of nuclear power, by 2038 brown coal will no longer be used
for electricity generation and priority is being given to developing renewable energy sources.
And importantly, digitalization is making its way into almost all areas of our lives. And as if all of this weren’t exciting enough, 2020 will go down in history as the year of the coronavirus pandemic. The virus is not only putting businesses and jobs at risk, it is also speeding up some development processes.
HYDROGEN IN SAXONY-ANHALTEverything under control:Dr Markus Wolperdinger,head of the Fraunhofer IGB,Dr Sylvia Schattauer, deputyhead of the FraunhoferIMWS and Professor DrArmin Willingmann, Ministerfor Economy, Science andDigitalization of the state ofSaxony-Anhalt at the formalground-breaking ceremonyfor the electrolysis test andtrial platform.“We have beencommitted tohydrogen mobilityright from the start.”In his guest column,Dr Willi Frantz, managingdirector of TOTAL RaffinerieMitteldeutschland GmbH inLeuna, highlights the opportunitiesand developmentprospects that hydrogentechnology can offer TOTAL.CHEMICAL PARKLEUNAIN FIGURES:TOTAL AREA(HECTARES):1,300COMPANIESON SITE:100JOBS:10,000aim to achieve. Saxony-Anhalt’s Ministryof Economy is supporting their researchprojects, including the ELP electrolysis testand trial platform, with funding of more thaneight million euros.The TOTAL Group is anactive supporter of theelectrolysis platform thatis being built on the siteof the chemical park.It will function as atest platform for a widevariety of electrolysistechnologies. The investmentreflects thesignificant interestamong companies in thisresearch project that istaking place in an industrialenvironment.The conditions for establishing a model regionfor hydrogen in Leuna are ideal. There isconsiderable potential for renewable energygeneration in Saxony-Anhalt, together with awell-developed hydrogen infrastructure thatcan be used for green hydrogen.Central Germany has the second largesthydrogen pipeline network in the countryand salt caverns that are suitable for use aslarge-volume hydrogen storage facilities. Inaddition, many of the companies based in thearea have extensive experience of producinghydrogen and using it for industrial purposes.There is also an established research infrastructurewith institutes and firms whichhave joined together to create the HYPOSnetwork with the aim of identifying innovativeuses for hydrogen.infraleuna.dehypos-eastgermany.deChemical companies come together in thelargest chemical park in Germany.The TOTAL Group has an ambitious climatetarget of net zero emissions by 2050 for its globalactivities. To achieve this, it is positioning itself as abroad-based energy supply company. Our CEO recentlyannounced that TOTAL intends to be one of the world’stop five renewable energy suppliers. He speaks about“TOTAL Energies”.Some of the changes made over the last few monthsclearly demonstrate that we take this seriously. Hydrogentechnology plays an important role in our plans.It will be one of a whole series of solutions needed fordefossilizing the economy and achieving the energytransition.In Germany we have been committed to hydrogenmobility right from the start. Given that there are goodprospects for hydrogen technology in Germany becauseof the existing infrastructure, expertise in processingand handling hydrogen and suitable consumptionpatterns, then Leuna is the place to be. The Germangovernment has already answered the question in itsNational Hydrogen Strategy, which specifies that, ofthe five gigawatts of green hydrogen capacity to be installedin Germany by 2030, two gigawatts are plannedfor areas near refineries.I fully support the German government in this respect.Refineries are industrial facilities with the highest levelsof hydrogen consumption and are therefore ideal locationsfor starting the production of green hydrogen onan industrial scale. Like biofuels and their components,green hydrogen now has a place in the petrochemicallandscape. This is true not only for fuels but also forbasic chemicals such as methanol and ammonia.TOTAL is already involved ingreen hydrogen initiatives atthe Chemical Park Leuna.TOTAL Raffinerie Mitteldeutschland GmbH is workingwith Sunfire and emphasizes the importance ofhydrogen in solving the pressing problems of thefuture.2223