Photo: Port of Barcelona

TSOs formalise intention to develop H2Med subsea hydrogen link

Spanish, French and Portuguese transmission system operators (TSOs) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate on the development of the proposed H2Med project, which is described as the first hydrogen corridor in the EU.

The MoU was signed by Spanish Enagás, French GRTgaz and Teréga and Portuguese REN to formalise their commitment to jointly develop the future hydrogen subsea pipeline between Barcelona and Marseille.

This follows the mandate of the governments of the three countries and the support of the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen given at the Euromed Summit on 9 December 2022.

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Under the MoU, the four TSOs aim to make the infrastructure of the H2Med project available as of 2030.

Enagás, GRTgaz, Teréga and REN also plan to jointly submit these projects as candidates to the Project of Common Interest under the new Trans-European Network for Energy (TEN-E) Regulation (EU/2022/869).

It is estimated that the subsea hydrogen link will cost around €2 billion, excluding the cost of linking the pipeline with connections on land, which could rise to around €3 billion depending on the underwater route the pipe takes.

The initial plan included the transmission of a limited proportion of natural gas as a temporary and transitory energy source.

However, Spain decided to ditch gas altogether and transport hydrogen via the H2Med subsea pipeline in order to benefit from European aid.

The development of H2Med is said to be the first pillar of the European Hydrogen Backbone aiming at accelerating the decarbonisation of Europe, by creating the needed hydrogen infrastructure to enable the development of a competitive, liquid and pan-European hydrogen market.

The project will accelerate the deployment of hydrogen in Europe and connect the Iberian Peninsula to France and to the Northern part of Europe.

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Among the benefits of this project are the promotion of industrial development, the reduction of emissions and the development of renewable energies, as well as the creation of employment and the promotion of a just transition.

H2Med 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.

Click here to read more about hydrogen projects in Europe.