Franco-Iberian H2 pipeline to be extended to Germany
The Franco-Iberian H2Med hydrogen pipeline, planned to run from Portugal to Marseille via Spain, will be extended to reach Germany, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz agreed on Sunday.
“Acknowledging the differences of our national energy productions, we will work towards a common understanding and strategy roadmap aiming at the development of a large-scale hydrogen production, and build a resilient European hydrogen market based on a robust local production and necessary sustainable imports,” they said in the French-German declaration, which also covered agreements on matters other than energy.
The Spanish government on Monday welcomed Germany’s participation, with its ministry for the ecological transition saying that the H2Med project reflects Spain’s commitments to strengthening Europe’s energy security and showcases European ambitions towards climate neutrality.
“H2Med places Spain […] for the first time in history in a position to become a leading green energy hub from the Iberian Peninsula to central and northern Europe,” the ministry said.
The proposed hydrogen gas line will start in Portugal in the town of Celorico da Beira and connect to Zamora in Spain. The project will pick up again in Barcelona from where a submarine pipeline will lead to Marseille, and now to Germany. In between Zamora, north-west Spain, and Barcelona on the north-east coast, Spain will build two hydrogen routes to connect these cities and several hydrogen demand centres along the way.
In December 2022, gas TSOs of Spain, Portugal and France sent their proposals for the project to the European Commission, seeking funding under the EU call for Projects of Common Interest (PCI). Grid grid operators from Germany later sent a joint letter to the Commission to express support for the H2Med project and their desire to make it the backbone of the green hydrogen supply to a large part of Europe, the Spanish ministry for the ecological transition said.
According to Spain's government, the Celorico-Zamora (CelZa) section will cost around EUR 350 million (USD 381.4m), while the Barcelona-to-Marseille pipeline (BarMar) will require some EUR 2.5 billion of investments.
H2Med is expected to be operational in 2030. It will be capable of transporting 2 million tonnes of green hydrogen per year from Spain, which would be 10% of the EU’s entire hydrogen consumption, according to the Spanish government.
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