The first hydro-product or “hydrogen pipeline” in Spain is in the planning stages.
It will transmit hydrogen produced from water and hydrolysis powered by wind turbines. A Petronor refinery will be connected to the Abanto-Zierbena Technology Park through the pipeline. Although the pipeline will be fewer than two kilometers long, it will serve as a preliminary step.
The project is one of several that comprise the Basque Hydrogen Corridor and is backed by the autonomous authority. It will be a component of Spain’s first hydrogen distribution network. At the Abanto Technology Park, dozens of businesses will be able to use the gas for research and development, as well as hydrogen for car use.
The project has been in the public debate phase since December 9. Idom’s project report proposes a 1,860-meter pipeline to the Basque Country’s hydrogen center. The project is scheduled to take six months to complete and will cost one million euros. The hydrogen will be pumped at a pressure of 32 bars, significantly less than the pressure used in automobiles (350 or 700 bars).
When it reaches the technological park, the pipeline will split into three branches. The first goes to the Energy Intelligence Center (EIC), which serves as the institutional headquarters and is home to Petronor and dozens of other enterprises engaged in research and development. Construction began in February 2021 and is scheduled to conclude this year in September. The investment totals 40 million euros.
The second connection is for the Living Lab, which may be used to test various products using hydrogen. Finally, the third connection will be for a hydroline station capable of refueling cars and refilling transport cylinders. Additionally, all of the technological park’s plots of land – which total 176,000 square meters – will be equipped with hydrogen supply pipelines in addition to natural gas pipelines.
Nortegas, Spain’s second largest gas provider, will assess the feasibility of injecting green hydrogen into the country’s natural gas distribution network. This way, municipal gas can be partially decarbonized without requiring modifications to existing boilers or infrastructure. Where improvements will need to be made is at the regulatory level, as there is currently no plan in Spain for hydrogen transport and channeling.
Repsol, Petronor’s parent company, is developing three hydrogen production plants, various lines of research into hydrogen’s integration into heavy industry, and a factory for electrolyzers in partnership with the engineering firm Sener. The energy corporation does not aim to wait until oil runs out or loses its appeal; it is already transitioning to a zero-emissions approach.