Paris - 14 January 2020 - ONTRAS Gastransport GmbH, GRTgaz S.A. and GRTgaz Deutschland GmbH, German and French gas transmission system operators (TSO), announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance knowledge and research sharing in relation to the transportation and blending of hydrogen and natural gas in their networks. This agreement, the most important one to date at European scale, reinforces cross-border cooperation and is a clear signal of the intention of gas TSOs to contribute to the deployment of hydrogen and new decarbonised gas solutions.

The purpose of this MoU is to set out key principles on the basis of which the parties will cooperate in jointly pursuing two projects:

  1. The first, led by ONTRAS, concerns a gas filter separating methane and hydrogen compounds from a mixed gas stream. The objective is to build a pilot set of membranes for the separation of hydrogen in hydrogen-natural gas mixtures with high purity. The tests will start in 2020.
  2. The second, led by GRTgaz, is a dedicated testing facility of the future FenHYx platform that will assess the hydrogen readiness of network equipment and evaluate their efficient operation with internal and external leakage test benchmarks. The first cluster of the FenHYx platform will be built in 2020 by the GRTgaz Research and Innovation Center for Energy (RICE) to carry out hydrogen R&D.

"ONTRAS has vast experience with mixed gas streams as we have two power to gas plants feeding hydrogen into our network. With the European cooperation for the separation of hydrogen and participation in the testing facility project we will open new possibilities for the use of existing networks for future trans-border green gas transport", said Ralph Bahke, Managing Director of ONTRAS Gastransport GmbH.

"For many years, GRTgaz has been committed to exploring different ways to contribute to the development and deployment of hydrogen e.g. through blending with natural gas in its network; through supporting innovative production processes such as thermal gasification and through the management of the consortium for the power to gas “Jupiter 1000” pilot project in the South-East of France. Our agreement with ONTRAS will strengthen European research and development efforts towards the deployment of hydrogen and the achievement of climate neutrality. This MoU opens new opportunities to contribute towards the identification of reliable and competitive solutions for the development of the sector and the integration of hydrogen into gas networks", said Thierry Trouvé, CEO of GRTgaz.

"The mega-project of increasing the share of hydrogen injected into our networks calls for a Pan-European effort. To this end, a Franco-German research co-operation offers great potential for new developments in the gas transportation sector. We very much appreciate and actively support this collaboration", said Nicolas Delaporte, Managing Director of GRTgaz Deutschland GmbH.

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Chafia Baci
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