Storengy to coordinate large-scale European salt cavern storage project

An underground hydrogen storage project with an eventual planned capacity of over 10,000 tonnes has been launched in Europe.

The FrHyGe project will be supported and funded €43m ($46m) by the European Union, to validate the underground storage of hydrogen in salt caverns on an industrial scale.

With €20m ($21m) funded through the Clean Hydrogen Partnership, FrHyGe aims to deploy an industrial demonstrator in Manosque, France, which is expected to store 6,000 tonnes of hydrogen in two caverns, and then be replicated in Harsefeld, Germany, which will have a capacity of 5,200 tonnes.

With Storengy acting as project coordinator, H2 View understands the initiative will run from 2024 to 2029, before it enters its operational phase and allows for the commercial storage of hydrogen.

In the build up to its next phase, FrHyGe has four objectives:

  • Convert a natural gas salt cavern for hydrogen storage.
  • Demonstrate the feasibility of injection and withdraw 100 tonnes of hydrogen over cycles ranging from one hour to one week at the Manosque site.
  • Study the market penetration, value chain and prepare for replication at other sites in Germany, France and across Europe.
  • Assess the environmental impact, safety and regulations in preparation for the deployment of the GeoH2 (Manosque) and SaltHy (Harsefeld) projects.

Throughout this year (2024), Storengy and its partners will carry out studies and analyses for the implementation of the demonstrator, before construction starts between 2026 and 2027.

From 2027 to 2029, 100 injections and withdrawals from the two caverns at GeoH2 will begin, before studies and analyses of hydrogen reactions according to the pressure and comparisons of predictions and results are undertaken.

The Engie subsidiary Storengy will be supported by 17 other European partners, including Enagás, GRTgaz and Geostock.

FrHyGe stands for: Full qualification in France for large-scale hydrogen underground storage and replication from Germany to all European countries.

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