As Germany’s OGE (Open Grid Europe) Germany’s largest gas TSO announced another 130 km hydrogen pipeline, Germany is exploring also beyond its borders where this hydrogen will come from..“Unhindered competition will be the mainspring of this global economy,” said Wolf-Dieter Lukas, state secretary in the Education & Research Ministries, who is working on the German H2 strategy net was scheduled to be published the end of March. “Unlike in the oil economy, I don’t expect (H2) cartel formation.” Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government’s  hydrogen strategy for the next decade and beyond  is based on experiences with decades of importing oil and gas. To keep import costs down, it is looking beyond europe;  it signed a deal with Nigeria to jointly research hydrogen supply chains across 15 nations in of teh ECOWAS organisation in West Africa with some political stability and a proximity to the sea for desalination of water for electrolysis. Germany is collaborating since 2010 with the West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use, in which Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Cape Verdes, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal und Togo are engaged.

The OGE pipeline,  to be built with a consortium of BP, speciality chemicals firm Evonik, grid firm Nowega and RWE Generation, will supply chemicals plants and refineries from a hydrogen plant to be built by RWE at Lingen in Lower Saxony from 2022. The target sites for the pipeline would be Lingen as well as Marl and Gelsenkirchen in North Rhine-Westphalia and underused, natural gas pipelines would be converted to hydrogen and be open for use to third parties, although German antitrust and energy regulations do not yet provide for a legal framework for this type of operations. BP and Evonik have industrial interests in the region, while RWE intends to feed the plant from its wind power plants. Another planned pipeline by OGE and sector peer Amprion, called Hybridge, and Element Eins, a joint project by TenneT IPO-TTH.AS, Gasunie and Thyssengas.

Industry in Germany uses an estimated 55 terawatt hours (TWh) of fossil-fuel derived hydrogen and Germany may import as much as 45 million tons of green hydrogen annually by 2050; 70 mlm tons of hydrogen are produced annually today globally.

Photo : courtesy German Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung: Germany’s and Nigerian ministers for Research Anja Karliczek and Yahouza Sadissou.v