EU gas TSOs launch international tender for hydrogen corridor pre-feasibility study

An international tender for a pre-feasibility study for the Nordic-Baltic Hydrogen Corridor, a cross-border hydrogen project being developed by six European Union (EU) countries, has been launched.

Lithuanian gas transmission system operator (TSOs) Amber Grid launched the tender on behalf of its project partners. In addition to Amber Grid, the partners in the project are European gas transmission system operators Gasgrid Finland (Finand), Elering (Estonia), Conexus Baltic Grid (Latvia), GAZ-SYSTEM (Poland) and ONTRAS (Germany).

The partners, which signed a cooperation agreement on the implementation of the Nordic-Baltic Hydrogen Corridor in December 2022, are developing a hydrogen supply infrastructure from Finland through Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland to Germany with the aim to connect the green energy production regions in Northern Europe with the main consumption centres in Central Europe.

The project is expected to be completed by 2030.

Illustration of the planned Nordic-Baltic Hydrogen Corridor. Courtesy of Amber Grid

The pre-feasibility study, for which the tender has been issued, should deliver the initial results by the end of this year, said Nemunas Biknius, CEO of Amber Grid. As explained, the study will analyse European and regional energy policies and provide specific answers on the potential for green and low-carbon hydrogen production and consumption.

It will also make recommendations on project scope, possible pipeline routing, financing, timing and risk management as well as the possible location of storage. “The results of the study will be of key importance for the region as a whole, which is currently actively seeking opportunities to develop a hydrogen ecosystem from Finland through the Baltic States to Central Europe”, Biknius said.

Based on the recommendations of the Hydrogen Corridor pre-feasibility study, a decision will be taken on the further development of the project.

The deadline for submitting requests to participate in the tender is set for 15 May 2022 at 10:00 local time.

Partners said it is now assessed that the Hydrogen Corridor may well create significant opportunities for the development of energy and related ecosystems. It will stimulate the demand for and development of green electricity, accelerate the development of the hydrogen economy and will therefore contribute to the European climate targets. It also creates the conditions for investment in industrial and technological innovation, reduce the cost of energy transport, create jobs and generate additional revenue for countries.

Hydrogen is expected to become one of the main energy carriers in Europe as the EU Member States undergo dynamic changes linked to energy transformation and economic decarbonisation. It will strengthen the EU’s energy security, reduce dependence on imported fossil energy and play an important role in reducing the dependence of energy-intensive European industries on imported fossil fuels.

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Recently, French, Spanish and Portuguese TSOs also revealed the EU’s first hydrogen corridor – the so-called H2Med project – which was proposed in October 2022 as part of the Green Energy Corridor which will connect Spain, Portugal and France to the European Union’s energy network.

In December 2022, Enagás, GRTgaz, Teréga and REN signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to formalise the countries’ commitment to jointly develop the hydrogen subsea pipeline between Barcelona and Marseille. The pipeline is scheduled to begin operations in 2030.

On the occasion of marking the 60th anniversary of the Elysee Treaty on 22 January this year, Germany announced its plans to join the H2Med which will have the capacity to transport up to 2 million tonnes per year (mtpa) of renewable hydrogen, which represents 10% of the forecast consumption in Europe in 2030, according to REPowerEU.

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