Werne is all set for a "green future". Today, representatives of OGE together with NRW Premier Hendrik Wüst took an important step towards a nationwide hydrogen infrastructure. With the ground-breaking ceremony for the H2 pipe run in Werne, the foundation stone has been laid for a training centre that is unique in Europe. From mid-2024, craftspeople and engineers will gain hands-on experience with hydrogen in pipeline transmission systems.
Hendrik Wüst, Premier of North Rhine-Westphalia, said at the ground-breaking ceremony: "Hydrogen is a key enabler for the energy transition and for the transformation to climate neutrality. To make this happen, we need the best possible infrastructure as well as first-rate experts. This ground-breaking ceremony has provided a glimpse into the future of hydrogen training at a modern facility where tomorrow's specialists will learn all about the hydrogen network of the future. This way, North Rhine-Westphalia can be a pioneer in decarbonisation and become the first climate-neutral industrial region in Europe."
Dr Thomas Hüwener, member of the management board of OGE, said: "As in football, it’s what happens on the pitch that counts. We’re investing ten million euros in the H2 training facility at our Werne site and in the future of our employees. With the new H2 pipe run, we will prepare our team across Germany for H2, allowing them to gain the necessary technical know-how. We will also make this H2 pipe run available to other companies and offer our expertise as a service provider."
Lothar Christ, mayor of Werne, was pleased about OGE’s long-term commitment to the location: "The construction of this new facility right next to the compressor station here in Werne is of huge importance for a successful energy transition and the expansion of the H2 infrastructure in Germany, but also for our town and the OGE site here. This investment strengthens the regional economy and is a clear sign of sustainable development and innovative solutions."
H2 training facility and nationwide hydrogen core network – a step into the future
For Dr Jörg Bergmann, CEO of OGE and member of the German government’s National Hydrogen Council, the current steps in Werne and the decisions by the federal government are a great motivation: "In order for hydrogen to play a leading role in the climate-neutral industry of the future, it has to be transported over long distances. Our proposal for a national core hydrogen network that connects the central hydrogen sources with the main centres of consumption and hydrogen storage sites has now been sketched out and points the way to the future. We’re expecting the parliamentary process now underway to lead to a forward- looking decision by the federal government." The goal is to complete the network by 2032.