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Two NET4GAS hydrogen initiatives confirmed as Projects of Common Interest by the EU

The European Union’s Projects of Common Interest (PCIs) and Projects of Mutual Interest (PMIs), recently approved by the European Council and the European Parliament, contain two hydrogen projects of the Czech gas transmission system operator (TSO) NET4GAS: the Czech-German Hydrogen Interconnector (CGHI) and Central European Hydrogen Corridor (CEHC).

Both projects aim to further develop regional hydrogen infrastructure supporting climate goals as well as regional and European energy security and independence.

The vision of the CGHI initiative is to create a hydrogen interconnector to connect high-potential hydrogen supply areas in Northern Germany and the Baltics with expected high-demand clusters in the EU (predominantly in South Germany and Northern Bohemia). Additionally, it will also enable the connection of local suppliers and consumers along the corridor. It will be 1,068 kilometres long and has a target capacity of 144 gigawatt-hours per day (GWh/d).

On the other hand, the CEHC initiative, with a total length of 1,225 kilometres, explores the feasibility of creating a hydrogen pipeline corridor in Central Europe for transporting hydrogen from major hydrogen supply areas in Ukraine via Slovakia and the Czech Republic to hydrogen demand areas in Germany. The hydrogen corridor will also enable the transport of hydrogen between hydrogen production facilities and hydrogen consumers in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

The PCI approval is a significant development because out of the more than 50 applications, only four succeeded. The implementation of these projects could be the springboard for the Czech Republic to successfully position itself as an important actor in the decarbonisation agenda in the emerging European hydrogen ecosystem.

Obtaining PCI status offers CGHI and CEHC a number of advantages: simplified and faster approval procedures, the possibility to receive financial support from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), as well as obtaining contributions to the successful implementation of these projects.

With the Czech company’s well-developed and flexible infrastructure, including parallel pipelines, NET4GAS should be able to simultaneously transport natural gas, hydrogen and even biomethane. This, in turn, will not only contribute to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (through switching from coal to gas, using hydrogen) but will also ensure Czech and regional energy security.

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