Signing of a European Memorandum of Understanding on Hydrogen by Gas Operators

By January 17, 2020 3   min read  (592 words)

January 17, 2020 |

European Hydrogen Gas

ONTRAS Gastransport GmbH, GRTgaz SA and GRTgaz Deutschland GmbH, German and French transmission system operators (FNB), announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to improve knowledge and research exchange on the transport and mixing of hydrogen and natural gas in their networks ,

This most important agreement to date at European level strengthens cross-border cooperation and is a clear signal for the intention of the transmission system operators to make their contribution to the use of hydrogen and new solutions for climate-neutral gases.

The aim of this agreement is to define the main principles on the basis of which the partners will work on two projects:

  • The first concerns a gas filter managed by ONTRAS, which separates methane and hydrogen compounds from a mixed gas stream. The goal is to build a pilot membrane batch for the separation of hydrogen from hydrogen-natural gas mixtures with high purity. The tests will start later this year.
  • The second project, headed by GRTgaz, is a special test facility for the future FenHYx platform, with which the hydrogen suitability of network devices can be assessed and its efficient operation can be assessed using internal and external leak test benchmarks. The first cluster of the FenHYx platform will be built in 2020 by the GRTgaz research and innovation center for energy to carry out hydrogen research and development.

The German and French TSOs will exchange their experiences and jointly plan or carry out projects to effectively gain experience, exchange relevant information and successfully create a business model for the transport of hydrogen in their network.

“ONTRAS has many years of experience with mixed gas flows, since two power-to-gas plants have been feeding hydrogen into our transmission system for many years. The European cooperation on hydrogen separation and participation in the test bench project opens up new opportunities for using existing networks for future cross-border green gas transport, ”said Ralph Bahke, Managing Director of ONTRAS Gastransport GmbH.

“For many years, GRTgaz has been researching various ways of providing hydrogen, e.g. For example, by adding methane to the network or through production projects from thermal gasification, as well as through the “Jupiter 1000” pilot operation in southeastern France. Our agreement with ONTRAS will strengthen European research and development efforts to use hydrogen and achieve climate neutrality. This letter of intent opens up new opportunities for placing hydrogen in gas networks and helping to identify reliable and competitive solutions for the development of the sector, ”said Thierry Trouvé, CEO of GRTgaz.

“The mega project to increase the proportion of hydrogen fed into our networks requires efforts across Europe. For this purpose, a Franco-German research cooperation offers great potential for new developments in the gas transport sector. We highly value this collaboration and actively support it by overcoming differences in culture and in established national research processes, ”said Nicolas Delaporte, Managing Director of GRTgaz Deutschland GmbH.

ONTRAS Gastransport GmbH is a national gas network operator in the European gas network based in Leipzig. With a length of over 7,000 km and around 450 connection points, we operate the second longest gas transmission network in Germany and market its capacities. As a reliable partner, ONTRAS unites the interests of traders, regional network operators and producers of renewable gases. With 22 biogas feed systems, which feed up to 180 million standard cubic meters of biomethane into the gas network each year, and two hydrogen feed systems, ONTRAS makes a significant contribution to CO2-neutral energy supply in Germany. More at .


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