Finland announces hydrogen plans

Finland announced plans to construct a hydrogen transmission network to aid in the reduction of carbon emissions and strengthen the long-term security of its energy sources.

State-owned Gasgrid Finland, which up until now has primarily imported natural gas from Russia, will create the network over the next years, according to Finance Minister Annika Saarikko.

Following its neighbor’s invasion of Ukraine, Finland declared it would cease using Russian gas. When Helsinki refused to pay in roubles, Moscow shut off the supply.

Finland has a number of alternative energy sources, including nuclear power, but is keen to employ hydrogen more widely since it may help cut carbon emissions if it is created using renewable electricity.

According to Saarikko, Gasgrid Finland will establish a company that will build up the hydrogen transmission network initially in Finland and then internationally. Production of hydrogen will be left up to private businesses.

The network, which will take years to construct, will have three “hydrogen valleys,” two of which will be on the west coast close to current wind power infrastructure and one of which would be in southeast Finland, according to her.

The government said the network will initially be supported by Gasgrid’s current capital but did not provide a price.

A 15-kilometer (9-mile) hydrogen pipeline from steelmaker Ovako’s factory in Imatra to fertilizer company Kemira’s plant in Joutseno will begin construction in southeast Finland, close to the Russian border, according to Saarikko.

She said, “We will ensure that these infrastructure networks, which are deemed to be such essential strategic state assets, will stay in our own hands, exactly as it is for natural gas and electricity, from the standpoint of security of supply.