Hydrogen pipeline to connect Belgium and France

Belgian gas grid operator Fluxys and the French company GRTgaz are joining forces to develop an open-access low-carbon hydrogen transmission system between the two countries. In this context, they have launched a call for building a pipeline network of some 70 km between the industrial zones of Valenciennes in France and Mons in Belgium.

Fluxys and GRTgaz have previously identified the Valenciennes region and the broader area around Mons (up to La Louvière and Feluy) as a zone with great potential for hydrogen development.

Underground

A market consultation for the construction of cross-border transport infrastructure is now being launched. If there is enough potential, a feasibility study will follow in a subsequent phase. The costs, among other things, will then be mapped out, says Fluxys spokesperson Rudy Van Beurden.

A possible pipeline would, in any case, run underground. So it might not have to be built from scratch, but existing pipelines could be used instead.

Belgium hub for hydrogen

The proposed integrated transmission network between the two countries is in line with the vision of the European Hydrogen Backbone (EHB) promoted by some 30 gas transmission operators in Europe to ensure the security of supply for hydrogen consumers and create a common European market.

“This first hydrogen infrastructure between Belgium and France will contribute to the decarbonization of this basin with a rich common industrial history,” the press release says.

According to Fluxys CEO Pascal De Buck, with the development of this infrastructure, Fluxys aims to make Belgium a hub for import and transit as part of the European hydrogen backbone.

53 000 km hydrogen pipeline infrastructure

Fluxys, which, together with British chemical company Ineos also wants to develop an open hydrogen network in Antwerp, concluded another agreement for a cross-border hydrogen network in mid-May. At the request of North Sea Port, the largest hydrogen hub in the Benelux, Fluxys and Dutch company Gasunie are jointly developing a network across the Dutch-Belgian border to supply hydrogen to companies in the 60-km extended port area.

Low-carbon hydrogen is emerging as an essential energy carrier for achieving Europe’s carbon neutrality targets by 2050. The EHB network expects 53 000 km hydrogen pipeline infrastructure in 28 European countries by 2040.

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