Plans for Danish-German hydrogen network gain ground

Danish national transmission system operator (TSO) Energinet and Gasunie Deutschland, a unit of Dutch energy company Gasunie, have signed a cooperation agreement on the next steps for the development of the Danish-German hydrogen network aiming to make it possible to make large quantities of green hydrogen that are expected to be produced in Denmark available to the German market.

Courtesy of Energinet

According to Energinet, from 2028, a cross-border transmission connection between Denmark and Germany will enable the transport of green hydrogen, and in this connection, the two companies want to jointly develop the hydrogen network between Western Denmark and Northern Germany and thereby contribute to the Danish-German agreement, which the Danish and German energy ministers signed in March 2023.

Energinet said that the purpose of the cooperation agreement is to create a formal framework which ensures agreement between both companies in the planning phase of the hydrogen infrastructure projects Danish Backbone West and Hyperlink 3 (in Germany) in order to enable coordinated investment decisions on both sides of the border.

The two companies want to ensure third-party access and a cross-border connection between the production, storage and consumption of hydrogen in accordance with the upcoming European legislation, Energinet noted, adding that the cross-border connection will make it possible for all involved stakeholders and market players to sell their hydrogen and/or cover their hydrogen needs.

The cross-border hydrogen network is expected to stretch from the future hydrogen storage in Lille Torup to Heidenau south of Hamburg with a total length of approximately 550 kilometers.

To note, Danish Backbone West is the first large-scale hydrogen pipeline project to be developed by Energinet in Denmark. It is a large-scale hydrogen transport system that connects the underground hydrogen storage in Lille Torup with a hydrogen border point at the border with Germany in Ellund. According to Energinet, in the future, it will be possible to connect the Jutland backbone to other northern European countries. The project is planned to be realized between 2028 and 2030.

Hyperlink 3 is part of the Hyperlink project, which is a hydrogen transport system in northwestern Germany, developed by Gasunie, which runs from the border point Ellund to the Heidenau station south of Hamburg. In Heidenau, Gasunie connects the hydrogen network to the remaining Hyperlink system. This project is expected to be part of the national German Hydrogen Network (Core Grid) and the European Hydrogen Backbone, which gives access to the German production and consumption sites.

Energinet noted that after the completion of the Hyperlink project, Gasunie will have connections to the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark, and provide access to offshore hydrogen pipelines and hydrogen receiving terminals. This project is planned to be carried out through several sub-projects during 2026-2028.

Commenting on the cooperation agreement, Thomas Egebo, CEO of Energinet, stated: “In Denmark, we have the ambition to become a ‘powerhouse’ for the export of green energy, thereby playing a decisive role in the European energy transition. Ensuring the development of a cross-border hydrogen infrastructure between Denmark and Germany is crucial to realizing the potential, and we see this agreement with Gasunie Deutschland as a natural next step in the realization of the ambitions.”

Britta van Boven, CEO of Gasunie Deutschland, said: “With our collaboration, we are creating a highly efficient hydrogen import highway that will connect the future demand and supply for this climate-friendly energy source. I am looking forward to working with Energinet in a joint step-by-step development of the future energy system on the basis of decades of trusting cooperation.”

To remind, Energinet and Gasunie signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to accelerate the preparations for cross-border hydrogen infrastructure between Denmark and Germany in 2022.

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