28.04.2023 | Press Release
Rhine-Main Infrastructure Network
Partnering for a strong energy infrastructure in the region
Frankfurt, April 28, 2023
Power grid operators and major consumers in the Rhine-Main Region have joined forces to encourage discussion about expanding the energy infrastructure. They know that an efficient infrastructure is essential for providing a secure and sustainable supply of energy to local industry and the community and preserving industrial value creation in the future.
The Rhine-Main Region plays a key role in the energy transition. The network now offers a platform for constructive discussions with local politicians and government officials on expanding key regional infrastructure. “We will all have to work together to pull off this massive, society-wide project of expanding our energy infrastructure,” said Hans-Jürgen Brick, CEO of Amprion GmbH. “As a network, we want to connect stakeholders, explain the technical and economic background to the public and present improvement ideas for public discussion,” said Brick. High-performance infrastructure is needed to put the region on a future-proof footing. “This is precisely what the Rhine-Main Infrastructure Network is working to achieve. It's important for us to look at the system as a whole,” added Brick.
The network brings together power grid operators and energy consumers. Energy demand in the Rhine-Main Region is increasing significantly due to the decarbonization and electrification of industry and as a result of the data centers powering the digital economy. Power consumption in Hesse will more than double from its current level of around 40 terawatt hours (TWh) to over 90 TWh by 2045. The transmission and distribution systems must expand rapidly in order to transport power to people in the region and maintain industrial value creation in Hesse.
“We will have to expand the distribution systems if we want to achieve our climate targets and seize opportunities for our region as an industrial base. We need additional system capacity along with the requisite infrastructure,” commented Markus Coenen, member of the Board of Management of Süwag Energie AG.
One of the Rhine-Main Region’s big energy consumers is Industriepark Höchst, home to more than 90 chemical and pharmaceutical companies that employ some 22,000 people in research and manufacturing. To ensure that vital medicines, food additives, high-performance plastics and crop protection agents can be produced at the 4.6-square-kilometer estate, Infraserv Höchst, the site operator, supplies the companies with heat – because process steam is needed to run plants – as well as electricity. Around 3,500 gigawatt-hours of steam and 2,000 gigawatt-hours of electrical energy are needed each year. “We are willing and able to drive the decarbonization of Industriepark Höchst’s energy supply but can only do so if the capacity of the regional supply infrastructure is significantly expanded,” said Joachim Kreysing, Managing Director of Infraserv Höchst. He believes that expanding the power lines and connecting the site to a national hydrogen supply system are tremendously important – especially since Infraserv Höchst has long been committed to advancing hydrogen technology. Joachim Kreysing would like to see swift, dependable action at the various decision-making levels: “Most of the companies at Industriepark Höchst and other chemical production sites operate globally and need more than just a reliable supply of energy: They need the ability to plan with confidence – a crucial factor for successful investment decisions.” Traffic infrastructure is one of the most important types of infrastructure for industrial sites. This is why Joachim Kreysing finds it imperative to continuously invest in capacity-building measures for the rail and road network as well as inland waterways.
The challenge facing local governments is to reconcile all the various interests of the region’s approximately 5.8 million residents amid limited land availability. At the same time, infrastructure development is essential for households and for the region’s industry, which accounts for more than half a million jobs. The Rhine-Main Infrastructure Network aims to promote dialog between politicians, government officials, companies and the public – after all, Hesse’s industrial sites can only be made climate-neutral if everyone works together.
Rhine-Main Infrastructure Network
The Rhine-Main Infrastructure Network is an initiative of grid operators, energy producers and energy consumers and encourages discussion about the preservation and expansion of key regional infrastructure. It includes Amprion, DB Energie, eco - Association of the Internet Industry, Fraport, Infraserv, Syna and TenneT. The network currently focuses on energy infrastructure. It regularly holds events and visits “special energy sites” that showcase energy challenges and solutions. Its kick-off event, held in November 2022, covered supplying energy to the chemical and pharmaceutical industries at Industriepark Höchst. On April 28, an event held at Telehouse Deutschland will focus on supplying energy for digital infrastructure.
More information: www.netzwerk-infrastruktur.com