GRTgaz launches RHYn
At the tri-national “Green hydrogen: flagship projects and prospects in the Upper Rhine” conference held in Basel on 5 April 2022, GRTgaz announced the launch of a second project to convert a natural gas transmission network to hydrogen.
Located in Alsace and known as RHYn (Rhine HYdrogen Network), the purpose of this project is to promote the Upper Rhine’s hydrogen ecosystem by connecting the Dessenheim area with the Chalampé-Ottmarsheim industrial area by 2028 – together with the Mulhouse urban area (see map below) so as to meet its own mobility requirements.
In subsequent phases, the network may be extended to the south towards Basel so as to supply the airport area, and to the north towards Marckolsheim to supply its industrial sites.
In line with its commitment to the energy transition, and in a bid to maximise environmental and economic performance, GRTgaz is planning to reuse as much of the existing natural gas infrastructure as possible: of a total of 100 km of hydrogen network, at least 60 km will be converted pipeline. The pipeline will have the capacity to transport 125,000 tonnes of hydrogen per year (equivalent to 900 MW of production by electrolysis), and could reduce carbon emissions by up to 1 million tonnes of CO2 annually.
The RHYn project will help implement energy transition policies across the Grand Est, and will bolster its appeal as an economic and industrial region. It will generate new opportunities for decarbonising local industry, paving the way for the effective rollout of all types of green transport, as laid out in the Hydrogen Strategy for the Grand Est.
The RHYn project is part of the European Hydrogen Backbone1 – Europe's way of ensuring security of supply for hydrogen consumers and creating a common market for people across the EU. As part of this vision, GRTgaz will investigate possible interconnections with the regions of Baden-Württemberg in Germany and Basel in Switzerland.
GRTgaz is fully committed to playing its part in fostering the emergence of a hydrogen market. In France, it foresees a hydrogen network of around 1000 km by 2030. This will be made up of new infrastructure, as well as by converting part of the existing gas network. The most advanced project – mosaHYc – is focused on developing Europe's leading hydrogen network by converting existing pipelines between Moselle, Saarland and Luxembourg.
1 The European Hydrogen Backbone involves 23 gas transmission system operators (TSOs) from 21 European countries. The latest report published on the topic confirms that a pan-European infrastructure based on existing converted gas infrastructure is possible. The study presented in this report suggests that there could be nearly 40,000 km of hydrogen network by 2040.