The project, H2CAST (H2 Cavern Storage Transition) plans to see two existing salt caverns made suitable for hydrogen storage connected by an above-ground installation.

Led by STORAG ETZEL, the pilot project will see Gasunie take responsibility for the above-ground facility to connect the two caverns, with hopes of seeing the project ready in 2026.

Co-funded by the state of Lower Saxony and the Federal Government of Germany, H2CAST could come as a crucial storage location for Dutch and German markets, nearby to the future Gasunie Hyperlink hydrogen network and the anticipated Energy Hub at the Port of Wilhelmshaven.

Read more: Energinet, Gasunie to collaborate on German-Danish hydrogen infrastructure

The Port of Wilhelmshaven has been at the centre of hydrogen developments by Tree Energy Solutions (TES). With plans of establishing up to 1GW of green hydrogen production capacity at the site, it also signed an agreement with Uniper and NPorts to plan a new import terminal for green gases, including hydrogen.

Read more: Uniper, TES, NPorts to cooperate on green gas terminal at Wilhelmshaven

“Hydrogen is going to play an important role in the future energy system, especially for making industry more sustainable,” said Han Fennema, CEO of Gasunie. “For a well-functioning hydrogen market, large-scale hydrogen storage is a crucial component. Gasunie has the ambition to develop salt caverns for hydrogen storage in both the Netherlands and Germany.”

Read more: Hydrogen storage in salt caverns: Dispelling the myths

Boris Richter, Managing Director of STORAG ETZEL, commented, “The industrial scalability of the underground storage is unique for the H2CAST pilot. Gasunie will optimally strengthen the project consortium, which is of strategic importance for the Etzel site. The pilot project is a starting point for a future value chain to enable the ramp-up of the international hydrogen market.”


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