Chile project

VNG Handel & Vertrieb GmbH and TEH2, a subsidiary of TotalEnergies and EREN Group, signed a cooperation agreement in July 2022. TEH2 would like to implement projects with strategic partners in local markets for the long-term purchase of hydrogen (H2) and derivatives. The aim of the cooperation agreement with VNG Handel & Vertrieb GmbH is to investigate the import of hydrogen in various work streams over the next few months and to conclude a supply contract in the near future. 


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90.000 t H2 per year
> 3 TWh per year

Cooperation in the hydrogen import project

As part of the Chile project, the cooperation partners are pursuing the common goal of importing green hydrogen in the form of ammonia from 2030 and selling it on the German and European market in order to make a significant contribution to climate-neutral energy supply in Germany and Europe in the long term. The cooperation with TEH2 thus marks an important milestone in the green gas strategy of VNG Handel & Vertrieb and at the same time lays the foundation for the long-term diversification of the trading portfolio.

See our roadmap to find out what concrete steps the project involves and how the green hydrogen from Chile will reach consumers in Germany.

Hydrogen import

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The green hydrogen will be produced in Magallanes (region in Chile, South America) using electrolysis with renewable electricity from wind turbines built specifically for this purpose. The installed wind capacity will be 3 GW in the first phase and 10 GW after the final phase, so that up to 800,000 tons of hydrogen can be produced annually in the final expansion stage. The green hydrogen will then be converted into ammonia using the Haber-Bosch process and transported in this form by ship from Patagonia to Germany.

The use of ammonia as a transport medium for hydrogen has many advantages. Not only is it more energy-efficient than transporting hydrogen, but the high energy density of ammonia means that larger amounts of energy can be transported in less space. In addition, there is already a globally established infrastructure for the transportation of ammonia, which is safe and efficient and thus facilitates the integration of ammonia as a hydrogen carrier into existing systems.

Arrival in Germany

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After the green ammonia arrives at the terminal in Rostock (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania), it is transported via an ammonia pipeline to an ammonia storage facility where it is stored temporarily. Ammonia is easier to store than hydrogen, as the nitrogen-hydrogen compound can be stored in liquid form in simple pressure vessels, similar to natural gas.

Ammonia cracking

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The ammonia is then piped to an ammonia cracker, which acts as a link between the ammonia import and the intended use of hydrogen. Ammonia cracking, also known as ammonia splitting, is used to recover the green hydrogen. Ammonia cracking is a chemical process in which ammonia is split into its components, hydrogen and nitrogen, by heating it in a catalyst. The converted green hydrogen can then be fed into the hydrogen network.

Hydrogen storage

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In order to meet the future demand for green hydrogen and flexibly balance out the fluctuating generation of renewable energies, the hydrogen obtained from ammonia cracking is temporarily stored in underground caverns. These caverns are large cavities that form naturally underground, for example through geological processes such as the dissolution of salt formations or the washing out of rock, and are often used to store natural gas, crude oil or other energy sources. The hydrogen is fed into the caverns under high pressure and stored there until it is needed again. This process enables large quantities of hydrogen to be stored safely and efficiently.

Hydrogen transport

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The green hydrogen will then be fed into the future hydrogen core network via pipelines to be transported to customers throughout Germany. The hydrogen core network forms the central foundation for the successful development of a hydrogen infrastructure and is intended to connect key hydrogen locations throughout Germany, such as large industrial centers, storage facilities, power plants and import corridors. According to the BMWK (Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection), commissioning is planned between 2025 and 2032 and will take place gradually.

Hydrogen sale & use

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In order to establish hydrogen as a building block of the energy transition in the long term and thus enable the generation of clean and sustainable energy, it is necessary to realize the development of an economic, green business model. To this end, VNG Handel & Vertrieb is already looking at the sales prospects for green hydrogen in Germany.

In the first phase of the hydrogen market ramp-up, green hydrogen will primarily be used where the direct use of green electricity is not a suitable option, either for economic or material reasons. This applies, for example, to heavy industry and the (petro)chemical industry, which is dependent on the material use of the molecule. In the future, there will also be areas of application in heavy goods transportation, energy storage and reconversion, as well as many other areas.

"In order to be able to meet the future demand for green and decarbonised hydrogen in Germany, significant volumes will have to be imported from international sources in addition to national production projects. At VNG, we are positioning ourselves broadly in both areas and, with our partnerships, are taking concrete steps towards building a climate-neutral, sustainable energy supply in Germany and Europe."

Georg Benhöfer
Senior Manager Hydrogen, VNG Handel & Vertrieb GmbH

Which VNG Group companies are involved?






Learn more about our green gas activities and projects in our brochure.


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