A new partnership has been established to explore the potential of developing a blue hydrogen economy in south Slovakia.
German multinational utility RWE Supply & Trading has collaborated with European energy infrastructure utility EP Infrastructure, gas transportation firm Eustream and NAFTA to assess the production of blue hydrogen.
The aim is to help meet Slovakia’s local hydrogen demand and to feed Germany and other countries in which RWE operates in western Europe.
The blue hydrogen will be transported using Eustream’s gas pipeline to Germany and the carbon dioxide captured during the production process stored in Slovakia and Ukraine for various purposes.
The four parties seek to lift the European hydrogen economy and help the bloc move closer to its decarbonisation targets. The project will also help the companies to achieve their own sustainability goals, according to a statement.
A joint venture company will be created and will be responsible for the creation of a roadmap for the project. The joint venture will also hold talks with Ukraine, Czech Republic and Austria representatives for the implementation of the project.
Ulf Kerstin, CCO of RWE Supply & Trading GmbH, said: “We expect a significant need for low-carbon hydrogen imports to Germany in order to meet domestic demand already in 2030. To potentially off-take low-carbon hydrogen produced in Slovakia and import it to Germany via repurposed pipeline infrastructure would address this demand and at the same time support establishing the infrastructure required for future imports of green hydrogen from Eastern Europe, including Ukraine.”
Gary Mazzotti, CEO of EP Infrastructure, added that his company is seeking opportunities to leverage its infrastructure, “which is important for international transmission of hydrogen and storage” to enable a successful energy transition.
Rastislav Ňukovič, CEO of Eustream, reiterated: “We have recently announced our ambitions to make our grid hydrogen-ready. By 2023 we aim to be technologically ready to accept hydrogen blends of up to 5% into our system and in the future we are planning to dedicate one of our pipelines to pure hydrogen transmission. The cooperation with RWE in the field of blue hydrogen production in Slovakia is an exciting opportunity that aims to accelerate not only our ambitions but also the hydrogen roll-out in the EU.”