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Europe’s gas firms prime pipelines for hydrogen highway

By November 18, 2021November 19th, 2021No Comments

Europe’s natural gas companies believe the transition to hydrogen should not mean the infrastructure that carries fossil fuel must go too. They want to repurpose pipelines to carry zero-emissions hydrogen after countries wean themselves off natural gas.

The effort by nearly two dozen companies reflects the accelerating pace of planning taking place in the global oil and gas industry, from drillers to refiners, keen to adapt as governments and activists ramp up the pressure to slash greenhouse gases. The hydrogen project – involving Italy’s Snam SpA, Spain’s Enagas S.A. and Germany’s Open Grid Europe (OGE) among others – would rely on vast solar farms as far flung as the Sahara Desert to create the energy needed to produce hydrogen from water.

That fuel would then be piped to Europe’s industrial heartland along the existing web of natural gas pipelines – a 198,500 km (123,300 mile) network that, if untangled, could encircle the equator four times. The project is one of hundreds of plans to build a hydrogen economy, which the European Union says could involve investments of up to 460 billion euros by 2030.