Poland is actively exploring the possibility of constructing a hydrogen pipeline along the Baltic Sea and implementing carbon dioxide (CO2) storage in salt caverns as part of its state strategy for energy development.
Gaz-System, the country’s gas transmission operator, is involved in discussions and projects aimed at establishing standards for hydrogen transmission and integration into existing infrastructure.
According to Marcin Chludziński, President of Gaz-System, the transportation of hydrogen can be achieved either in its pure form or by blending it with natural gas in varying proportions. This flexibility opens up opportunities to repurpose existing gas pipelines or build new ones specifically designed for hydrogen transport. Gaz-System is actively participating in the Nordic-Baltic Hydrogen Corridor initiative, a collaborative effort to enhance the region’s energy security, reduce reliance on imported fossil fuels, and accelerate decarbonization across key sectors such as industry, transportation, power generation, and district heating.
Chludziński emphasized the importance of hydrogen storage facilities in stabilizing the proposed hydrogen pipeline that would connect the Scandinavian countries, Baltic states, and Poland, and eventually extend to Western Europe. Furthermore, the development of a domestic hydrogen network is crucial to support the growing demand from various industries.
The recent TEN-E regulation introduces the concept of Projects of Common Interest (PCI), allowing investments in European hydrogen infrastructure to be granted PCI status. This facilitates the implementation of projects related to hydrogen transmission, storage, and the reception and regasification of liquefied hydrogen or other hydrogen-based chemicals like ammonia. Gaz-System is actively engaged in aligning its initiatives with the requirements of this regulation, which could provide up to 75% EU funding for eligible projects.
The Nordic-Baltic Hydrogen Corridor, a significant undertaking within the region, aims to transport hydrogen from Finland to Germany via the Baltic states and Poland. Gaz-System has established partnerships with gas transmission operators in countries through which the corridor would pass. The European Commission is expected to present a list of PCI hydrogen projects in autumn 2023, with the potential for substantial EU funding support.
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is also a key consideration for Poland. Different concepts are being evaluated, including the delivery of captured CO2 to the Norwegian Shelf or storage within Poland’s abundant salt caverns. The formulation of a state strategy on this matter is currently in progress. The Czech Republic and Bulgaria have already initiated the process of drafting government documents for the construction of the first CCS facilities, which may be vital for heavy industries striving to reduce their carbon emissions to comply with future regulations.
Poland’s exploration of hydrogen pipelines and carbon capture strategies aligns with the country’s commitment to addressing greenhouse gas emissions and achieving climate goals set by the European Union. By investing in hydrogen infrastructure and implementing CCS solutions, Poland aims to mitigate CO2 emissions, comply with climate policies, and attract EU funding to support these vital projects.