Norway and Germany announced a plan to build a wide-reaching hydrogen pipeline between the two countries by 2030. Initially, the corridor will transport blue hydrogen produced from natural gas, with carbon capture and storage (CCS), and later it will transition to green hydrogen.
1. Equinor and RWE
On 5 January, Norwegian oil company Equinor and RWE signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to jointly develop large-scale energy value chains, building on the partnership between Norway and Germany and the longstanding relationship between the two companies. The partners aim to replace coal fired power plants with hydrogen-ready gas fired power plants in Germany, and to build production of low carbon and renewable hydrogen in Norway that will be exported through pipeline to Germany. The pipeline would initially transport low carbon hydrogen, produced by capturing more than 95% of the CO2 from natural gas, using existing and proven technologies, according to the joint statement.
We’ve agreed to work w/ @RWE_AG to develop large-scale value chains for low carbon hydrogen.— Equinor (@Equinor) January 5, 2023
We aim to replace coal with hydrogen-ready, gas-fired power plants in Germany, and build low carbon & renewable hydrogen production in Norway to export through pipeline to Germany 🇳🇴 🇩🇪
“Through this collaboration we will strengthen the long-term energy security for Europe’s leading industrial country while at the same time offer a viable route to a necessary energy transition for hard to abate industries,” said Anders Opedal, Equinor’s CEO and President.
However, for the infrastructure and projects under the MoU to become commercially viable, appropriate regulatory support mechanisms will be required.
2. Environmental integrity
The partnership also pledges to ensure environmental and climate integrity by establishing “the highest possible standards for carbon capture and storage”. Both countries aim at quickly scaling up the production of renewable energy, a prerequisite for production of green hydrogen. Later on, the corporate duo said, green hydrogen can be phased in into the common transport infrastructure.
The collaboration has the potential to develop Norway into a key supplier of hydrogen to Germany and Europe. This is a unique opportunity to build a hydrogen industry in Norway where hydrogen also can be used as feedstock to domestic industries.Anders Opedal, Equinor’s CEO and President
Over time, large-scale renewable hydrogen production from offshore wind projects in Germany and Norway is expected to complement and replace low carbon hydrogen.
3. Blue hydrogen
When announcing the new corridor, Equinor, which is 67% owned by the Norwegian state, also revealed plans to pump an initial 2GW of blue hydrogen through the pipeline to Germany by 2030, and up to 10GW by 2038, as part of a new strategic partnership with German utility RWE.
“In order to realise the fastest possible high-volumes of hydrogen with zero or low-emissions, we will jointly plan the use of hydrogen produced from natural gas with carbon capture and storage (blue hydrogen) for a transition period,” said Dr. Markus Krebber, CEO of RWE.