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Saxony subsidizes connection to Europe’s hydrogen network

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Saxony will pay around six million euros in subsidies to Leipzig-based Ontras Gastransport GmbH so that the Free State can be connected to the European Hydrogen Backbone.

Pipelines to H2 import ports on Baltic Sea and in Netherlands

The cabinet and the budget committee of the state parliament have already approved the special grants for this “Important Project of Common European Interest” (Ipcei) in the hydrogen economy, according to the announcement. Minister of Economics Martin Dulig (SPD) now wants to sign administrative agreements with the Federal Ministry of Economics for two Ontras Ipcei projects. On the one hand, this involves building new pipelines for the transport of hydrogen (H2), on the other hand, existing natural gas pipelines are to be converted to this. This will connect Saxony to future hydrogen import ports on the Baltic Sea and in the Netherlands, as well as to the hydrogen storage facilities that are being built.

According to its own information, the state will contribute 30 percent of the state subsidies with its six million euros, the remaining 70 percent will be covered by the federal government. Accordingly, the Ontras projects are expected to cost a total of around 60 million euros.

More supply security hoped for compared to Russian gas

“Our H2 start-up network, comprising over 900 kilometers of pipelines, will connect the eastern German hydrogen centers by 2030,” announced Ontras CEO Ralph Bahke. “The integration of Saxony into the European hydrogen network creates supply security and avoids one-sided dependencies.”

Pipes are building block in Saxony’s hydrogen strategy

The pipelines are part of Saxony’s hydrogen strategy. The aim is to establish almost the entire value chain in Saxony, from the generation of green electricity to electrolysis, transport, intermediate storage and utilization of hydrogen. The Saxons also want to develop the highly automated production of electrolysers and fuel cells as their special expertise. Ipcei has already made commitments to Sunfire and Xenon Dresden, among others.

Nedim Husomanovic

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