The application for a PCI status is a step forward for the AquaDuctus project, which will integrate an offshore pipeline for green hydrogen in the North Sea, serving as an essential ‘backbone’ to Germany’s and Europe’s future offshore hydrogen infrastructure and energy security.
The proposed 400km-long pipeline will collect hydrogen from multiple production sites while also offering the potential to connect with other international hydrogen flows through the North Sea.
By 2035, the pipeline will develop into a main hydrogen corridor carrying up to 1m tonnes of hydrogen a year into Germany.
Christoph von dem Bussche, Gascade Managing Director, said, “Our specific plans for AquaDuctus will allow Germany’s federal government to put in place concrete actions following up the efforts it has made on hydrogen with European partners such as Norway.”
Hydrogen will be taken to the German coast via the offshore pipeline and fed into the onshore hydrogen network, allowing AquaDuctus to provide large-scale offshore hydrogen infrastructure in the German North Sea for hydrogen to be imported.
The first step involves the SEN-1 hydrogen wind farm being connected to AquaDuctus, with flows planned to start in 2030. In subsequent years, wind farms further offshore in Germany may be connected, along with other hydrogen infrastructure operated by various North Sea countries.
A comprehensive feasibility study for the project has been completed and identified up to 100GW of hydrogen production potential in the German and European North Sea, and views an integrated European offshore pipeline network as the ideal transport solution.
The plans were first announced in May 2021, after Gascade, Shell, Gasunie and RWE signed a declaration of intent for the AquaDuctus project.
The initiative supports the project, aiming to install 10GW of electrolysis capacity for green hydrogen production from offshore wind power between Heliogoland and Dogger sand bank.
The pipeline will replace five High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) transmission systems, which would otherwise have to be built.
Germany recently announced it is set to join the H2Med pipeline project between France, Spain and Portugal following the German and French Governments announced commitments to ‘strengthen the EU.’
AquaDuctus and H2Med both algin with the European Commission’s REPowerEU plan, which has set a target of 10m tonnes of domestic renewable hydrogen by 2030.
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