EPIF, Eustream, Nafta, RWE eye blue hydrogen in Slovakia
Czech-based EP Infrastructure (EPIF), its subsidiaries Eustream and Nafta and German RWE Supply & Trading are looking to jointly explore blue hydrogen production facilities in eastern Slovakia, they said September 24.
Nafta is a gas storage operator and Eustream is a major European Union gas transmission system operator. Co-operation with RWE "will enable us to jointly explore opportunities instrumental to successful energy transition of the European Union," said EPIF.
Eustream has already joined green hydrogen transport schemes but owing to the time it will take for green hydrogen to become universal, it wants to start generating money sooner from blue hydrogen projects.
RWE Supply & Trading would buy the hydrogen for export to Germany and its other core markets in western Europe. The hydrogen could be transmitted through a repurposed Eustream gas pipeline to Germany. The CO2 captured during hydrogen generation could be stored within depleted natural gas fields in the region.
RWE Supply & Trading has a "large number of promising green hydrogen projects across Europe," and is pursuing opportunities to import green and low-carbon hydrogen and derivates such as ammonia to complement its own green hydrogen production.
It said it expects a significant need for low-carbon hydrogen imports to meet domestic demand by 2030. Importing low-carbon hydrogen from Slovakia through repurposed pipeline infrastructure would address this demand and support the infrastructure required for future imports of green hydrogen from eastern Europe, including Ukraine."
Eustream said: "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 co-operation 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."
Nafta said: "Hydrogen storage plays an essential role in achieving successful hydrogen economy. Our long-term storage experience and our strategic location allows us to substantially contribute to the co-operation in the area of hydrogen and CO2 storage. We believe that together with our partners, we are able to find attractive development opportunities aimed at promoting accelerated hydrogen deployment."
EPIF said earlier in the summer it was mulling divesting its infrastructure assets, perhaps launching an initial public offering to test the demand. They generate cash from regulated tariffs or long-term contracts.