Starting point and expansion of the infrastructure for green hydrogen
By 2030, the partners of the initiative want to build the core for a European hydrogen economy. A network from Lingen to the Ruhr region and from the Dutch border to Salzgitter is to link the production, transport, storage and industrial usage of green hydrogen. The participating companies are continuously expanding the infrastructure along the entire value chain. Connections for all sectors as well as for the import of hydrogen are being created. This is the starting point for a European hydrogen economy.
The implementation will take place in several stages:
2024: GET H2 Nukleus
The GET H2 partners bp, Evonik, Nowega, OGE and RWE Generation want to jointly build the first publicly accessible hydrogen infrastructure. The GET H2 Nukleus project connects the production of green hydrogen with industrial consumers in Lower Saxony and NRW. The approximately 130-kilometre network from Lingen to Gelsenkirchen is to become the first H2 network in the regulated sector with non-discriminatory access and transparent prices.
- The green hydrogen is to be produced from wind power in Lingen, Lower Saxony. For this purpose, an electrolysis with a capacity of more than 100 MW is to be built at the RWE power plant site in Lingen.
- Existing gas pipelines of the transmission system operators Nowega and OGE will be converted to transport 100 percent hydrogen. Evonik is also constructing a partial new building between the Marl Chemical Park and the Ruhr Oel refinery bp Gelsenkirchen.
- This infrastructure will transport the climate-neutral raw material to industrial customers.
The companies use the green hydrogen in their production processes and thus significantly reduce their CO2 emissions.
The GET H2 Nucleus is the first building block of a Germany-wide H2 infrastructure, which has already been outlined by the members of the FNB Gas e.V..
Further information on the GET H2 Nucleus can be found in the project presentation, which is available for download here.
2025: Link to the Netherlands
The next step is a connection to the Dutch border in 2025. The connection to the import point Vlieghuis will be implemented by GET H2 partner Thyssengas. The transmission system operator is converting existing gas pipelines to transport 100% hydrogen. This step will create the connection to the Green Octopus. The European project initiative connects Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and France via a hydrogen network. In Lingen RWE is expanding the electrolysis capacity to 200 MW.
2026: Integration of storage facilities and launch in Salzgitter
Further important steps to expand the infrastructure and increase the performance will be implemented by 2026:
- An RWE cavern storage facility in Gronau-Epe will be connected. With the possibility of storing hydrogen, the security of supply will be decisively secured. The storage of renewable energy in the form of green H2 thus made possible is one of the decisive advantages of the hydrogen economy.
- Salzgitter AG is commissioning an electrolyser at its steelworks, which is supplied with electricity from wind energy. This is part of the SALCOS project, Salzgitter AG’s climate initiative to make steel production climate-friendly.
- By building more pipelines for the transport of hydrogen, OGE and Thyssengas are creating an additional connection in the direction of the Ruhr region.
- RWE further expands the electrolysis plant in Lingen to 300 MW.
2030: Connecting the pieces
The final step is to connect Salzgitter AG via existing Nowega gas pipelines by 2030, which will be converted to transport hydrogen. To enable the implementation of the overall project outlined here, the eight companies involved have submitted an expression of interest for funding under the IPCEI programme (Important Project of Common European Interest) to the Federal Ministry of Economics. This then includes GET H2 Nukleus, SALCOS and Green Octopus, three existing hydrogen projects. By using the green hydrogen in refineries, in steel production and for other industrial uses, the overall project has a CO2 avoidance potential of up to 16 million tonnes by 2030.
The expansion of the project by partners from the transport sector and for the distribution of green hydrogen in the field is also already in preparation. Other partners in the GET H2 initiative have also submitted expressions of interest for IPCEI funding for projects aimed at establishing a hydrogen infrastructure.