Gas transmission system operators ONTRAS Gastransport, GRTgaz and GRTgaz Deutschland are researching the feasibility of blending hydrogen and natural gas into their networks.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the companies earlier this week for the project which reinforces cross-border cooperation and shows intention of gas transmission system operators to contribute to the deployment of hydrogen.
“With the European cooperation for the separation of hydrogen and participation in the testing facility project we will open new possibilities for the use of existing networks for future trans-border green gas transport,” said Ralph Bahke, Managing Director of ONTRAS Gastransport.
Through the MoU the companies will jointly pursue two projects, the first of which will be led by ONTRAS and concerns a gas filter which separates methane and hydrogen compounds from a mixed gas stream.
The project will see the construction of a pilot set of membranes for the separation of hydrogen in hydrogen-natural gas mixtures with high purity. The tests for the project will begin in 2020.
Led by GRTgaz, the second project will showcase a dedicated testing facility of the future FenHYx platform that will assess the hydrogen readiness of network equipment and evaluate their efficient operation with internal and external leakage test benchmarks.
The first cluster of the FenHYx platform will be built in 2020 by the GRTgaz Research and Innovation Centre for Energy to carry out hydrogen research and development.
Together, the two companies will share experiences and both plan and carry out projects together to gain experience, to share relevant information, and to successfully create a business case for the transport of hydrogen in their networks.
“Our agreement with ONTRAS will strengthen European research and development efforts towards the deployment of hydrogen and the achievement of climate neutrality,” said Thierry Trouvé, CEO of GRTgaz.
“The mega-project of increasing the share of hydrogen injected into our networks calls for a Pan-European effort. To this end, a Franco-German research co-operation offers great potential for new developments in the gas transportation sector.”