GRTgaz Invests $43.4 Million in First French-German Cross-Border Hydrogen Pipeline

(Reuters) — French gas grid operator GRTgaz will invest 40 million euros ($43.4 million) in a 110-million-euro planned hydrogen pipeline due to link France and Germany, its Chief Executive Sandrine Meunier said on Wednesday.

The pipeline, to be called mosaHYc and due to start up in 2027, would be the first multi-user pipeline to ship hydrogen across a border in the European Union, she said.

There are private hydrogen pipelines in the EU developed by companies for their own internal use but the mosaHYc would be the first to operate as today's major natural gas pipelines do — where capacity can be booked by many users, Meunier said at a press briefing.

In a separate statement, GRTgaz parent Engie ENGIE.PA said the 90-km (55.9-mile) pipeline will connect France's Greater Eastern region to Germany's Saarland and the border with Luxembourg.

The German partner is CREOS Deutschland, which will contribute 70 million euros to the project, GRTgaz said.

"The mosaHYc project has strategic value as the first Franco-German link, paving the way for the development of a wider European hydrogen network," said Engie networks head Cecile Previeu.

She added that the project would accelerate the development of a renewable, low-carbon hydrogen market in Europe and contribute to Engie's goal of 700 kms of hydrogen-dedicated transport networks by 2030.

GRTgaz — owned 60% by Engie and 40 by French state investment group Caisse des Depots — will manage the French section of the project (50 km, of which 45 km will be converted pipeline located in the Moselle region), Engie said.

CREOS Deutschland will develop 40 kms in Saarland.

The first client will be the Saarland-based steelmaking site in Dillingen operated by RoheisenGessellscha Saar SHS (Stahl Holding Saar group) in Germany.

SHS has booked 80% of the pipeline's capacity for 25 years on a take-or-pay basis and expects to consume 50 million metric tons of hydrogen per year by 2030, Anthony Mazzenga, GRTgaz development director, told reporters.

($1 = 0.9210 euros)

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