Thyssengas acquires RWE natural gas pipeline for hydrogen transport

An approximately twelve-kilometer natural gas pipeline has been purchased by Thyssengas GmbH from RWE Generation SE, for hydrogen transport.

It connects the Dutch municipalities of Vlieghuis and Kalle in the Coevorden and Drenthe provinces, respectively (County of Bentheim). The link is crucial to the establishment of a transnational hydrogen transportation network.

Thyssengas’ ambitions to link to the Vlieghuis import point as part of the GET H2 hydrogen initiative are what led to the purchase. Additionally, starting in 2027, the operator of the Dortmund transmission system plans to make it possible to transport hydrogen (H2) from the Dutch border to Duisburg-Hamborn. This is the first border crossing for the transportation of hydrogen between Germany and the Netherlands. The connection provides access to the storage facilities and future hydrogen production facilities in the province of Zeeland as well as the import ports of Amsterdam, Eemshaven, and Rotterdam. The Dutch government is working to develop extensive offshore hydrogen production capacities in the future years. Direct hydrogen synthesis occurs at sea from the energy produced in the wind farms off the coast of the North Sea. An import component to these H2 levels is crucial for the quick hydrogen market ramp-up in Germany.

The CEO of Thyssengas GmbH, Dr. Thomas Gößmann, emphasizes: “The acquisition of the pipeline by Thyssengas is a crucial component in the execution of our hydrogen strategy. The Dutch-German hydrogen corridors could use Vlieghuis as a key interchange location. As a transmission system operator, we are once more paying in advance with this transaction. Politicians now have the responsibility of establishing investment certainty for hydrogen infrastructure and accelerating commercial ramp-up. In order to maintain the entire GET H2 project on schedule, we urgently need a resolution at the European level regarding the IPCEI initiatives. The Federal Network Agency and the legislator have received proposals from the transmission system operators after they undertook considerable preliminary work on an integrated transport solution for natural gas and hydrogen. We’re H2 prepared!”

Construction of a hydrogen transport infrastructure across international borders

The Thyssengas project is the cornerstone for the creation of an international H2 infrastructure, together with other hydrogen-related projects. The production, transportation, storage, and industrial use of green hydrogen are to be combined in a number of steps between 2024 and 2027 as part of the broader GET H2 project from Lingen (Emsland) to the Ruhr region and from the Dutch border to Salzgitter. The connection of Salzgitter’s steel production will result in the completion of the H2 system in 2030.

The GET-H2 partners bp, Evonik, Nowega, OGE, and RWE Generation intend to link the production of green hydrogen with industrial customers in Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia with the “GET H2 nucleus” as the first step. The next stage of expansion is the connection to the Netherlands made possible by Thyssengas’ Vlieghuis-Kalle pipeline. It establishes the framework for a trans-European market for hydrogen.

The long-distance gas network operators OGE and Nowega’s current pipeline system as well as the recently constructed hydrogen pipeline from Dorsten to Duisburg-Hamborn will thereafter be used to transport the hydrogen to the Ruhr region. The two gas network operators OGE and Thyssengas are building this pipeline. The project should be finished in 2026.

Application for funding within the context of the IPCEI program

As early as mid-2023, preliminary actions for retrofitting are planned in order to convert the Vlieghuis-Kalle gas pipeline and its additional route to Ochtrup (which is already a part of the Thyssen gas network) to the transportation of 100% hydrogen. Thyssengas has prepared a number of inspection and maintenance procedures for the pipeline portion in order to achieve this. The project is a component of a financing request for the IPCEI program.

GET H2: Business mergers fuel an increase in the H2 market in northern and western Germany.

GET H2 has Thyssengas as a finance partner. To facilitate the effective execution of the energy transition, the program seeks to build a national hydrogen infrastructure. Around 50 businesses, organizations, and towns are actively dedicated to GET H2’s goals of developing a competitive hydrogen market and making the required changes to the legislative and regulatory framework.

The initiative’s partners are spearheading the advancement of H2 technologies and their commercialization in a number of initiatives, as well as developing the infrastructure required for the generation, acceptance, transportation, and storage of green hydrogen.