The development of a new dual-purpose pipeline between Desteldonk and Opwijk, which also represents its first strategic investment for hydrogen transport in Belgium, is enhancing the transmission capacity of infrastructure operator Fluxys Belgium.
In the context of altered gas flows, this second pipeline between Desteldonk and Opwijk will at first improve the security of supply for Belgium and surrounding nations.
At the same time, it is a crucial step in helping Fluxys realize its goals for the energy transition.
Between Desteldonk and Opwijk, a distance of 44 kilometers, the new pipeline will be constructed side by side with the current natural gas network. The project is expected to begin in March 2023 and terminates that same year.
It is claimed that this increase in Fluxys’ network capacity is essential given the altered composition of the European gas supply. The pipeline’s capacity will double, increasing Zeebrugge’s offtake capacity by 15 GWh/h, or the energy produced by 15 nuclear reactors.
In order to prevent a bottleneck from developing farther down the network, Fluxys is planning this project in response to the expansion of LNG regasification capability at the Zeebrugge port.
As soon as the market is prepared, the pipeline will be immediately usable for transporting hydrogen and will be completely future-proof, according to Fluxys.
Thus, Fluxys is integrating Belgium’s federal hydrogen plan, which seeks to establish the nation as a centre for hydrogen in Europe.
The CEO of Fluxys, Pascal De Buck, stated: “With this investment, Fluxys is strengthening its key role in the European energy transmission network and enhancing supply security in Belgium and surrounding nations. Additionally, it is the first concrete step toward achieving our goals for the energy transition and the establishment of a European hydrogen hub in Belgium.