A major undertaking is currently underway to develop a 3,300 km hydrogen pipeline that will connect North Africa to Europe as part of the SoutH2 Corridor project.
Led by Snam S.p.A. (Italy), Gasconnect-Austria (Austria), Trans Austria Gasleitung GmbH (Austria), and Bayernets GmbH (Germany), the project aims to transport renewable hydrogen from Algeria to European consumers, bolstering the transition to clean energy sources and facilitating the decarbonization of various sectors.
The SoutH2 Corridor project has garnered significant support, with each partner company submitting a Project of Common Interest (CIP) application in line with the European Commission’s TEN-E Regulation. Last May, the energy ministries of Italy, Austria, and Germany solidified their commitment to the project by signing a joint letter of political support.
The planned hydrogen pipeline will originate in Algeria’s Hassi R’mel region, which is already a major producer of natural gas in Africa. It will traverse Algeria, passing through the city of Hassi Messaoud before reaching Tunisia’s Sfax. From there, the pipeline will cross the Mediterranean Sea and connect to Italy’s existing network managed by Snam S.p.A., continuing its journey through Austria and Germany.
One of the notable aspects of the SoutH2 Corridor project is its emphasis on repurposing existing infrastructure, accounting for around 70% of the planned pipeline. This approach ensures cost-effectiveness while providing access to prime renewable hydrogen production sites in North Africa, thereby facilitating competitive production.
Once fully operational by 2030, the SoutH2 Corridor will become an integral part of the European hydrogen backbone, with an import capacity of over 4 million tonnes per year. The project consortium comprising Snam, Trans Austria Gasleitung, Gas Connect Austria, and Bayernets aims to establish a sustainable hydrogen economy by connecting regions with high renewable hydrogen potential to consumer markets in Europe, fostering energy cooperation between Africa and Europe.
The SoutH2 Corridor project aligns with the European Union’s decarbonization objectives and efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Hydrogen, considered a clean and sustainable energy source, will play a pivotal role in decarbonizing the industrial, transportation, and energy sectors. The project is a significant stride toward establishing the necessary infrastructure for the widespread adoption of renewable hydrogen, reinforcing Algeria’s position as a major gas supplier to Europe, and propelling the transition to a cleaner and more sustainable economy.
Algeria, recognizing its technical capabilities and competitive advantages, has outlined a roadmap for hydrogen development. The country aims to become a regional and international pioneer in hydrogen production and marketing, with a target of supplying nearly 10% of the European market’s needs—equivalent to 30 to 40 billion kilowatts of gaseous hydrogen, liquefied hydrogen, and derivatives—by 2040 at competitive prices.