EP Infrastructure (EPIF), its subsidiaries Eustream and Nafta, and German RWE Supply & Trading are looking to investigate blue hydrogen production facilities in eastern Slovakia, according to a statement released on September 24.
Eustream is a significant European Union gas transmission system operator, while Nafta is a gas storage operator. EPIF stated that working with RWE “would enable us to collaboratively investigate prospects critical to the European Union’s successful energy transition.”
Eustream has already signed up for green hydrogen transportation schemes, but due to the length of time it will take for green hydrogen to become ubiquitous, it wants to start making money from blue hydrogen projects sooner rather than later.
RWE Supply & Trading would purchase the hydrogen for export to Germany and other Western European markets. The hydrogen may be delivered to Germany via a converted Eustream gas pipeline. CO2 collected during hydrogen production may be stored in the region’s depleting natural gas reserves.
RWE Supply & Trading has a “huge number of prospective green hydrogen projects across Europe” and is looking for ways to supplement its own green hydrogen production by importing green and low-carbon hydrogen and derivatives like ammonia.
It claims that by 2030, there would be a substantial demand for low-carbon hydrogen imports to fulfill domestic demand. Importing low-carbon hydrogen from Slovakia via repurposed pipeline infrastructure would meet this need while also laying the groundwork for future green hydrogen imports from Eastern Europe, including Ukraine.”
“By 2023, we hope to be technologically able to take hydrogen mixes of up to 5% into our system, and we want to dedicate one of our pipelines to pure hydrogen transmission in the future,” Eustream stated. The collaboration with RWE in the sector of blue hydrogen generation in Slovakia is an exciting opportunity that will help us achieve not just our goals, but also the EU’s hydrogen rollout.”
“Hydrogen storage is critical to creating a viable hydrogen economy,” Nafta added. Our long-term storage knowledge, along with our strategic position, enables us to make a significant contribution to hydrogen and CO2 storage cooperation. We think that by working together with our partners, we will be able to identify lucrative development possibilities that will help expedite the adoption of hydrogen.”
EPIF said earlier this summer that it was considering selling its infrastructure assets, possibly through an initial public offering to gauge interest. They make money by charging regulated rates or signing long-term contracts.