Fluxys to take charge of hydrogen network in Belgium

Implementing the Federal Hydrogen Act of July 11, 2023, Federal Energy Minister Tinne Van der Straeten has appointed Fluxys hydrogen, a subsidiary of Fluxys, as operator for the development and management of a hydrogen transmission grid in Belgium.

Illustration purposes only; Archive; Courtesy of Fluxys

Specifically, in accordance with the federal hydrogen strategy, Fluxys hydrogen will undertake the development and operation of a hydrogen pipeline network, which will be part of the European Hydrogen Backbone.

According to Fluxys, this will enable the necessary low-carbon energy to be transported both for the Belgian market and to neighboring countries.

“These molecules are a necessary part of the energy mix, needed to decarbonise society in a cost-efficient manner and taking into account security of supply,” Fluxys claimed.

To respond to the need to accelerate the energy transition, the company has already consulted the market and launched preparatory studies, Fluxys said, noting that building a hydrogen network will be realized step-by-step with new-build pipelines and repurposing of existing pipelines where possible.

The company also revealed that studies and preparations are being made to lay the first pipelines in the industrial clusters that have expressed the need for hydrogen. This is supported by the Reliance and Recovery Funds.

Pascal De Buck, CEO of Fluxys, commented: “I am delighted and proud that the federal government has entrusted us with the task of being the Hydrogen Network Operator for the next 20 years.”

“Fluxys hydrogen’s initial aim is to provide maximum support to industry to achieve decarbonisation by bringing low-carbon molecules to them as part of the ‘European Hydrogen Backbone.’ In the energy mix of the future, low-carbon molecules are crucial for a carbon-neutral future in Belgium and north-western Europe.”

To remind, in 2023, Fluxys selected engineering consultancy Sweco to conduct a feasibility study and preliminary research into several hydrogen routes in Ghent and Antwerp, and in 2022, the company announced the construction of a new dual-purpose pipeline between Desteldonk and Opwijk, marking its first strategic investment for hydrogen transport in Belgium.