Launch of the Call for Expression of Interest to Upper Rhine market stakeholders (Grand Est region)

Developing a hydrogen transmission network
Logo RHYn et visuels Getty images

From 18 September to 17 November 2023, GRTgaz is calling on local stakeholders to express their interest in a cross-border low-carbon hydrogen transmission network in the Upper Rhine territory for an area spanning Marckolsheim, Chalampé/Ottmarsheim, Mulhouse and Saint-Louis in France’s Grand Est region, and Bad Krozingen, Freiburg and Offenburg in the Baden-Württemberg region in Germany.

The Hydrogen Call for Expression of Interest process

To support regional stakeholders’ decarbonisation efforts, the operators of the GRTgaz, terranets bw and badenovaNETZE networks are launching a call to market to confirm the economic interest in a cross-border hydrogen pipeline transmission infrastructure located in the Grand Est region on the French side, and in Badenova-Württemberg on the German side.
This Call for Expressions of Interest (CEI) is a transparent, non-discriminatory process open to all market stakeholders. GRTgaz will run the process in two stages:

  1. An initial, non-binding phase, where stakeholders state their needs and GRTgaz defines a suitable infrastructure. Stakeholders are invited to express their interest based on the elements described below. Following an expression of interest and the signing of a contract, GRTgaz will carry out a feasibility study to define the appropriate transport infrastructure and come up with an initial financial estimate.
  2. If this non-binding phase confirms the market interest, GRTgaz will define the access conditions to structures and the conditions for carrying out works, working alongside the interested parties, with a view to launching the second “binding” phase.

During the initial non-binding phase, stakeholders are asked to express their interest based on the elements described in the “Information Memorandum” that supplements the “Infrastructures Proposal” and the “Hydrogen Specifications Proposal”, which can be downloaded below.

The infrastructure proposed by GRTgaz in the Upper Rhine region, with extensions to Germany, plans to connect the major hydrogen consumption sites with local production. This initial proposal is indicative: the route may be adapted depending on market stakeholders’ feedback to the Expression of Interest phase of the CEI, with an adapted schedule proposed for the different phases.

Technical specifics

As for the transmission of natural gas, hydrogen specifications will be required to safely operate the future hydrogen transmission networks and ensure their interoperability.
One the one hand, these hydrogen specifications should protect the integrity of the transport structures against the risks of chemical reaction and modification of the physical characteristics of their constituent materials; and, on the other, guarantee the delivery to end-consumers of hydrogen that meets their needs.

Any gas introduced into the hydrogen transmission network, as proposed in this CEI, will therefore need to comply with specifications in terms of:

  • Hydrogen quality
  • Pressure and temperature conditions.