Netherlands| The national hydrogen network must be ready in 2027

2 July 2021

The Dutch government has approved the transformation of gas pipelines to hydrogen, a project which gas network operator Gasunie has estimated could cost around € 1.5 billion.

Gasunie underlines that it is ready to develop the national infrastructure for the transport of hydrogen, as requested by the State Secretary for Energy and Climate. Gasunie is currently already responsible for the transport, storage and conversion of natural gas within the Netherlands.

Gasunie is already preparing for a national hydrogen network and expects to start developing the first pipelines after the summer.

Gasunie CEO Fennema: “All industrial regions will have rapid access to the hydrogen infrastructure. This will give the Dutch economy an important starting position. The first parts of the transport network are being developed in the regions where hydrogen activities are most concrete, such as Rotterdam and Groningen.” Making existing natural gas pipelines suitable for hydrogen starts with the infrastructure within the regional industrial clusters. Gasunie will then connect these to each other, to storage locations and to other countries. “The interconnected national infrastructure will not only link our ports and industrial clusters with each other and with hydrogen storage locations, but also with our neighbouring countries.” says Fennema.

Lower costs by reusing existing pipelines

Gasunie estimates the investment for the entire project at € 1.5 billion. This investment is necessary because the infrastructure must be fully available from the very first use onward. At the same time, the capacity must also be large enough to meet future demand. The national hydrogen network must be ready in 2027 and will consist of 85% recycled natural gas pipes, supplemented by new pipes. A major advantage of this is that the costs will be a factor of four, lower than if new pipelines were laid. The capacity of the network is 10 GigaWatt, equal to 25% of the total energy consumption of Dutch industry. In time, this can be expanded further.

HyWay 27 report: reuse of hydrogen pipelines safe and cost-effective

The Ministry of Economic Affairs’ decision follows the HyWay 27 report, for which a broad partnership investigated whether and how Gasunie’s existing natural gas network could be reused for hydrogen. The study shows that reusing natural gas pipelines is a safe and cost-effective way of transporting hydrogen.


Author: KS / Source: Gasunie / Photo: Unsplash