Four gas transmission system operators (TSOs) across Europe will be collaborating on establishing a hydrogen highway through Central Europe, known as the Central European Hydrogen Corridor. The corridor network is expected to facilitate the movement of up to 120 GWh of pure hydrogen per day from Ukraine to Germany by 2030. The participating firms include Eustream, a Slovak gas TSO, Gas TSO of Ukraine, the Czech gas TSO Net4gas and the German TSO, Open Grid Europe GmbH.

The joint initiative will focus on the transportation of hydrogen from future production plants in Ukraine via Slovakia and Czech Republic to large demand centers in Germany. Ukraine has feasible conditions for large-scale hydrogen production and a vast natural gas pipeline network that connects the country to the rest of Europe. The existing pipeline systems in Ukraine, Slovakia and Czech Republic are likely to be repurposed to transport hydrogen. The companies have started exploring the technical feasibility of setting up the corridor.

In recent months, the green hydrogen industry has been receiving a big push from governments and firms across Europe. For instance, Eustream has partnered with Germany’s RWE Supply & Trading and infrastructure operator’s EP Infrastructure and NAFTA to jointly explore the potential development of blue hydrogen production facilities in eastern Slovakia. Britain’s Ineos will also be investing over €1.17 billion at its UK Grangemouth refinery, which will also support the production of blue hydrogen. The Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) is also looking into hydrogen transportation opportunities. Several steps are, thus, being taken to incorporate green hydrogen in Europe’s renewable energy portfolio.

REGlobal’s Views: The existing synergies in infrastructure and experience of oil and gas majors make them an ideal party for taking a lead in the hydrogen segment. With hydrogen production majorly expected to happen far away from the demand centers, such hydrogen corridors will become a necessity in the years to come.