Inspenet, October 22, 2023.
Germany’s first long-distance gas pipeline network is being adapted to support the use of hydrogen, according to the announcement by Open Grid Europe (OGE), the gas infrastructure company. Hydrogen is expected to play a key role in the country’s energy transition and the government is pushing the idea of using existing natural gas infrastructure as a means to transport synthetic gas.
This gas pipeline network is located in the northwest of Germany and consists of sections that cover approximately 46 km in total, extending from the town of Emsbüren to Bad Bentheim in Lower Saxony and from Bad Bentheim to Legden in North Rhine-Westphalia, a region neighbor.
The natural gas transfer process
The process will involve transferring natural gas from sections of the pipeline to other areas over a two-day period. Subsequently, the lines of the existing gas system will be disconnected to carry out updating tasks. These modifications are expected to be completed to allow the transport of hydrogen in 2025.
It should be noted that OGE and the gas transport company Nowega are overseeing this project, which is part of the German strategy to develop a nationwide hydrogen infrastructure in the coming years. The pipeline modernization is integrated into the GET H2 Nukleus initiative, supported by the European Union’s Major Project of Common European Interest Initiative (IPCEI).
This update will allow various companies, both heavy industry and medium-sized companies, to connect to hydrogen supply in the future. Likewise, in the state of Saxony, in eastern Germany, the company Ontras began construction of the first gas pipeline exclusively for hydrogen last December. This is part of an extensive planned 900 km gas network that will also incorporate modernized gas infrastructure.
In July 2023, the German government launched a review of its national hydrogen strategy, with the aim of more rapidly driving the evolution of the market towards a hydrogen-based economy.
Green hydrogen , generated from renewable energy sources, is gaining greater recognition as a highly effective solution for sectors facing significant emissions challenges, such as heavy industry and aviation.