Tag: H2

EC approves €6.9 billion state aid for H2 infrastructure

The European Commission approved on Thursday €6.9 billion ($7.4 billion) in state aid funding for hydrogen infrastructure-related projects in seven EU countries, Kallanish reports.

The so-called IPCEI Hy2Infra scheme was planned by France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Slovakia. It awards 32 companies, including five SMEs, and 33 projects in areas of electrolysis, pipelines, storage and handling terminals.

“While the renewable hydrogen supply chain in Europe is still in a nascent phase, Hy2Infra will deploy the initial building blocks of an integrated and open renewable hydrogen network,” comments Margrethe Vestager, EC vice president in charge of competition policy. “This IPCEI will establish the first regional infrastructure clusters in several member states and prepare the ground for future interconnections across Europe, in line with the European Hydrogen Strategy.”

The public funding is expected to unlock another €5.4 billion in private investments. The projects cover the deployment of around 3.2 gigawatts of electrolyser capacity; construction of 2,700 kilometres of transmission and distribution pipelines; development of 370 gigawatt-hours of hydrogen storage capacity; and construction of handling terminals and port infrastructure to handle 6,000 tonnes/year of liquid organic hydrogen carriers (LOHC).

The electrolysers should be operational between 2026 and 2028, and the pipelines between 2027 and 2029. The timelines will vary depending on locations, projects and companies, but the EC expects overall completion in 2029.

According to the awards list seen by Kallanish, the majority of projects are based in Germany (24). The country had project approvals in all four Hy2Infra workstreams, with 10 for electrolysers and nine for pipelines. Some of the companies granted support include Air Liquide, EWE Hydrogen, Linde, Lingen, Thyssengas, Gasunie, AquaDuctus, VNG and Hydrogenious.

The West Germany cluster, for instance, will have three electrolysers built in the Rhine-Ruhr area. It will be connected to three different pipeline projects and have access to a storage facility. According to Vestager, by mid-2027, the renewable hydrogen produced in the cluster will be supplied to companies operating in the steel, cement, chemical, refining, and mobility sectors. The cluster will also connect to the Dutch national hydrogen network, she notes.

“For a successful roll-out of renewable and low-carbon hydrogen, all pieces of the puzzle need to come together,” adds commissioner Thierry Breton.

The EU has previously approved two other Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) state aid schemes – the Hy2Tech in July 2022 and the Hy2Use in September 2022.

France, Germany, Poland and Portugal included their participation in their Recovery and Resilience Plans, thus can partially fund some of their projects through the Recovery and Resilience Facility. The amount granted to each company and project will be made public by the EC later, once any confidential business secrets are removed from the EC’s decision documents.

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