Gascade and Fluxys have taken a significant step ahead in their plans for an offshore pipeline for green hydrogen in the North Sea by submitting an application to the European Commission for Project of Common Interest (PCI) certification for the AquaDuctus project.
The two infrastructure operators’ action demonstrates how crucial the project is to the hydrogen ramp-up.
“The offshore pipeline, which will be over 400 km long when completed, will become a linchpin of Germany’s and Europe’s future offshore hydrogen infrastructure,” explains GASCADE Managing Director Christoph von dem Bussche, emphasising the project’s European, interconnecting character.
This is so that the pipeline, which is intended to serve as a “backbone,” can gather hydrogen from various production sites and potentially connect to other global hydrogen flows across the North Sea. The offshore pipeline will transport hydrogen to the German coast, where it will be injected into the local hydrogen network. In order to import hydrogen into Germany, AquaDuctus will set up a sizable offshore hydrogen infrastructure in the German North Sea.
GASCADE and Fluxys have big goals for this undertaking. The SEN-1 hydrogen wind farm will be connected to AquaDuctus in the first phase, with flows expected to begin in 2030. In the next years, hydrogen infrastructure run by other North Sea nations may be connected with wind farms farther offshore in Germany’s exclusive economic zone. The offshore pipeline will become a major hydrogen corridor by 2035, supplying Germany with up to a million tonnes of hydrogen annually. The two long-standing transmission system operators intend the AquaDuctus offshore pipeline as a regulated open access infrastructure accessible to all future operators of hydrogen wind farms, strengthening supply security in the future. This plan is based on the gas and hydrogen package currently being negotiated at the European level.
Studies show that the German and European North Sea has a 100 GW hydrogen production capacity, and the optimal transportation method is an integrated European offshore pipeline network.
The project’s thorough feasibility study was successfully finished. The feasibility of all project phases from a technical and planning standpoint was investigated and confirmed by the study. Additionally examined were the commercial elements, marketing potential, price, and regulatory design choices.