Estonian gas transmission system operator (TSO) Elering and five other TSOs have signed the contract for a prefeasibility study on the Nordic-Baltic Hydrogen Corridor (NBHC), a planned new green hydrogen corridor set to link most of Northeastern Europe.
Under a deal inked between Elering and Gasgrid Finland, Latvia's Conexus Baltic Grid, Lithuania's Amber Grid, Poland's GAZ-SYSTEM and Germany's ONTRAS, the procurement-winning AFRY Management Consulting Oy will analyze the conditions for the development of cross-border hydrogen infrastructure slated to run from Finland and through the Baltic countries and Poland to Germany, as well as regional green hydrogen trends, according to a press release.
Slated to be implemented by 2030, the goal of the NBHC's cross-border hydrogen transmission infrastructure project is to establish a connection between green energy production regions in Northern Europe with primary consumption centers in Central Europe. The NBHC project, which was granted the status of project of common interest (PCI) by the European Commission in November 2023, aims to robustly support regional and EU climate targets.
According to Elering, this hydrogen corridor will create great opportunities for the development of energy and related ecosystems, promote the development of renewable electricity production and the utilization of renewable energy sources, accelerate the development of the hydrogen economy as well as contribute to the implementation of EU climate goals.
Moreover, it will also create conditions for investment in industrial and technological innovation along the entire route of the pipeline, reduce energy transport, create jobs as well as generate additional income for the states involved.
With the dynamic changes related to energy transformation and the decarbonization of the economy taking place in EU member states, it is expected that hydrogen will become one of Europe's main energy carriers, the Estonian TSO said. Hydrogen will strengthen the EU's energy security and will play an important role in reducing the dependence of energy-intensive European industries on imported fossil fuels and energy.
Replacing fossil fuel consumption in the industry, transport and energy sectors with renewable and low-carbon hydrogen or fuels refined from it will likewise contribute significantly to achieving the EU's greenhouse gas emission reduction target.
Project partners will make further decisions regarding the development of the project based on the recommendations of the prefeasibility study.
The study is expected to be completed in six months, or by mid-2024.
Editor: Aili Vahtla