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24.9.2021
EP Infrastructure, EUSTREAM, NAFTA and RWE sign memorandum of understanding on blue hydrogen development in Slovakia
EP Infrastructure (EPIF), Eustream, NAFTA and RWE Supply & Trading are looking to jointly explore the potential development of state-of-the art blue hydrogen production facilities in eastern Slovakia. To this end the companies have now signed a Memorandum of Understanding. RWE Supply & Trading could off-take and import the produced hydrogen to Germany and other RWE core markets in Western Europe. The hydrogen could then be transmitted through a repurposed Eustream gas pipeline to Germany. The carbon dioxide captured during hydrogen generation could be stored within depleted natural gas fields in Slovakia or neighbouring Central Eastern European countries, including Ukraine. The partners aim to help accelerate the ramp-up of the hydrogen economy and significantly contribute to the European decarbonisation ambitions.

RWE Supply & Trading is the trading arm of the energy company RWE, one of the leaders in European hydrogen development with a large number of promising green hydrogen projects across Europe. RWE Supply & Trading pursues international opportunities to import green and low-carbon hydrogen and its derivatives (e.g. ammonia) to Germany and other European markets in order to complement RWE’s own green hydrogen production.

“We expect a significant need for low-carbon hydrogen imports to Germany in order to meet domestic demand already in 2030. To potentially off-take low-carbon hydrogen produced in Slovakia and import it to Germany via repurposed pipeline infrastructure would address this demand and at the same time support establishing the infrastructure required for future imports of green hydrogen from Eastern Europe, including Ukraine,” says Ulf Kerstin, CCO of RWE Supply & Trading GmbH.

EPIF, Eustream and NAFTA are leading infrastructure operators in the CEE region. Both companies under the umbrella of EPIF are planning to become leading hydrogen infrastructure operators:

“EPIF’s companies are operating infrastructure which is important for international transmission of hydrogen and storage. We lie between the anticipated production centres in the CEE, including Ukraine and the consumption in Germany and other Western European countries. The cooperation with RWE will enable us to jointly explore opportunities instrumental to successful energy transition of EU,” says Gary Mazzotti, CEO of EP Infrastructure.

“We have recently announced our ambitions to make our grid hydrogen-ready. By 2023 we aim to be technologically ready to accept hydrogen blends of up to 5% into our system and in the future we are planning to dedicate one of our pipelines to pure hydrogen transmission. The cooperation with RWE in the field of blue hydrogen production in Slovakia is an exciting opportunity that aims to accelerate not only our ambitions but also the hydrogen roll-out in the EU,” says Rastislav Ňukovič, CEO of Eustream.

“Hydrogen storage plays an essential role in achieving successful hydrogen economy. Our long-term storage experience and our strategic location allows us to substantially contribute to the cooperation in the area of hydrogen and CO2 storage. We believe that together with our partners, we are able to find attractive development opportunities aimed at promoting accelerated hydrogen deployment,” says Martin Bartošovič, CEO of NAFTA.

The companies are creating a joint working group, which is going to create a roadmap for project implementation and hold dialogues with relevant stakeholders enabling the project implementation, most notably in Ukraine, Czech Republic and Austria in the coming months. All companies consider the memorandum as an important step towards further developing their hydrogen businesses.

23.9.2021
Gas companies present the Central European Hydrogen Corridor
Four leading Central European gas infrastructure companies have joined forces to develop a hydrogen highway through Central Europe. The focus of the joint initiative called the Central European Hydrogen Corridor is on developing a hydrogen “highway” in Central Europe for the transport of hydrogen from promising future major hydrogen supply areas in Ukraine that offers excellent conditions for large-scale, green hydrogen production via Slovakia and the Czech Republic to large hydrogen demand areas in Germany and the EU. The hydrogen corridor will also enable transporting hydrogen between hydrogen production facilities and hydrogen consumers in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Participating companies include EUSTREAM (the Slovak gas TSO), Gas TSO of Ukraine (GTSOU), NET4GAS (the Czech gas TSO) and OGE (a leading German gas TSO).

"Natural gas will remain a major source of energy and a strong point on the decarbonisation agenda for the next two decades. That said, hydrogen is likely to play a significant role by the year 2050, when the European economies are expected to reach carbon-neutrality, so we have to start exploring the opportunities today. Hydrogen is a promising technology at the early stage of economy-wide adoption. Partnership with the neighboring TSOs could provide great synergies for green hydrogen development.” says Pawel Stanczak, Deputy CEO for Development and Transformation of Gas TSO of Ukraine.

Slovakia and the Czech Republic are operating a large natural gas pipeline corridor connecting Ukraine with European demand areas. The Slovak, Czech and German gas pipeline systems can be repurposed to transport hydrogen. Rastislav Ňukovič, EUSTREAM’s General Director explains, “Our robust transmission system would offer a flexible and very cost-effective way of transporting green energy further to EU markets. We are committed to making our infrastructure hydrogen-ready and thus strongly contribute to the EU’s decarbonisation objectives.”

On the other hand, Germany is expected to be a major demand area of hydrogen in Europe. Importing a significant amount of hydrogen is essential to meet the projected demand in this region.

The project promoters believe that the Central European Hydrogen Corridor can be created partially by repurposing existing gas infrastructure, combined with targeted investments in new dedicated hydrogen pipelines and compressor stations. This enables dedicated hydrogen transport over long distances at an affordable cost.

The project promoters have already started to explore the technical feasibility of creating a Central European Hydrogen Corridor for the transportation of up to 120 GWh per day of pure hydrogen from Ukraine to Germany by 2030. Andreas Rau, NET4GAS’s Managing Director, points out that “even if such technical studies are very complex, we are positive that this strong international partnership will deliver its first results on the feasibility, capacity and cost of such transportation of hydrogen as soon as next year.

“A transnational hydrogen network is essential for a future European hydrogen market. The Central European Hydrogen Corridor is an important step on the way there as it offers the possibility of delivering substantial amounts of hydrogen to German industrial demand centers already by 2030,” concludes Dr Jörg Bergmann, OGE’s CEO. He adds, “One thing, after all, is certain. Without the widespread use of hydrogen alongside renewable energy, we will be unable to reach our climate targets.”



For more information, please contact the partner companies or go to the project website at www.cehc.eu.


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