On November 28, the European Commission included the hydrogen corridor from Ukraine in the list of projects of common (Projects of Common Interest, PCIs) and mutual (Projects of Mutual Interest, PMIs) interest for the European energy system, reported the Operator of the Gas Transmission System of Ukraine.
The list must be considered by the European Parliament and the Council of the EU, who have two months (or two more if necessary) to accept or reject the list. They cannot make changes to the list. If the list is not rejected within this period, it will enter into force, replacing the current fifth PCI list.
"One of the 166 approved projects was the project to create a hydrogen corridor between Ukraine, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Austria and Germany. This corridor plays a significant role in the context of strengthening Ukraine's energy security and is of key importance for its integration with the European energy network. In addition, the specified project will serve as a powerful driver for the development of the hydrogen industry in Ukraine and will facilitate Ukrainian hydrogen's access to the European energy market," the GTS Operator said.
The company indicates that for the first time, 65 hydrogen energy projects are on the PCI list at once, which confirms the European Union's commitment to the green transition policy.
Projects supported by the European Commission will have access to advantages in the form of simplified permitting and regulatory procedures, and will also be able to receive financial support from the EU's Connecting Europe Facility. The European Commission expects that the implementation of supported projects will help to double the capacity of EU networks by 2030 and reach the share of energy obtained from renewable sources at the level of 42.5%.
The joint initiative "Central European Hydrogen Corridor" is aimed at creating a hydrogen highway in Central Europe to transport hydrogen from promising hydrogen supply areas in Ukraine, which has good conditions for the production of green hydrogen, through Slovakia and the Czech Republic to areas of increased demand in the EU.
The partners of the project are the GTS Operator of Ukraine, EUSTREAM (the Slovak GTS operator), NET4GAS (the Czech GTS operator) and OGE (the leading German GTS operator).
Hydrogen is going to be transported through existing gas pipes.
Before the start of the full-scale war, Ukraine announced its intention to start exporting hydrogen produced using energy from renewable energy sources to the EU by 2024.
In 2021, operators of gas transmission systems in Ukraine, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Germany began to consider the possibility of repurposing pipes for hydrogen transportation in the future, creating the Central European Hydrogen Corridor.
In 2022, a hydrogen corridor from Ukraine to Germany was declared possible. Its preliminary feasibility report was "very positive". According to current plans, the project should be completed by 2030, and work is planned to begin in 2024.