Planned “Hydrogen Highway” through Central Europe

Four gas transmission system operators (TSOs) have teamed up to develop what they called a “hydrogen highway” through Central Europe, with plans to create a network that will move hydrogen from future production spots in Ukraine to large demand centres in Germany.

In a joint statement on Thursday, Gas TSO of Ukraine LLC, Slovakia’s EUSTREAM, Czech gas TSO NET4GAS and Germany’s Open Grid Europe GmbH (OGE) said that they have started to explore the technical feasibility of setting up the Central European Hydrogen Corridor (CEHC) for the transport of up to 120 GWh per day of pure hydrogen from Ukraine to Germany by 2030.

The corridor would also serve to transport hydrogen between hydrogen production points and consumers in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, but it is Germany that is expected to be one of Europe’s largest end users, and will need to import the fuel to be able to satisfy projected demand.

Ukraine is billed as a promising major hydrogen supplier due to excellent conditions for large-scale green hydrogen production. Its vast natural gas pipeline network connects the country to the rest of Europe via Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

The partners said that the gas pipeline systems in Ukraine, Slovakia and the Czech Republic can be repurposed to transport hydrogen. They see the project combining the repurposed gas infrastructure with targeted investments in new dedicated hydrogen pipelines and compressor stations to ensure the transport over long distances at affordable costs.

The CEHC promoters have started to assess the supply and demand side of renewable and low-carbon hydrogen in Central Europe, and are open to forging partnerships with potential hydrogen producers, consumers and other gas infrastructure companies in the region.

“[W]e are positive that this strong international partnership will deliver its first results on the feasibility, capacity and cost of [regional] transportation of hydrogen as soon as next year,” said Andreas Rau, managing director at Prague-based NET4GAS.

Source: Renewables Now.

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