The first step involves a pilot project in which two of the existing salt caverns will be made suitable for hydrogen storage and connected by an above-ground installation. Within the pilot project, Gasunie will be responsible for the above-ground facility to connect the two hydrogen caverns. The pilot project is expected to be ready in 2026.
The location of the storage caverns in Etzel is strategically located with a perfect connection to the Dutch and German hydrogen market, near the future Gasunie hydrogen network HyPerLink and the Energy-Hub Port of Wilhelmshaven.
Han Fennema, CEO of Gasunie, said: “Hydrogen is going to play an important role in the future energy system, especially for making industry more sustainable. For a well-functioning hydrogen market, large-scale hydrogen storage is a crucial component. Gasunie has the ambition to develop salt caverns for hydrogen storage in both the Netherlands and Germany.”
Boris Richter, Managing Director of STORAG ETZEL, commented: “The industrial scalability of the underground storage is unique for the H2CAST pilot. Gasunie will optimally strengthen the project consortium, which is of strategic importance for the Etzel site. The pilot project is a starting point for a future value chain to enable the ramp-up of the international hydrogen market.”
H2CAST Etzel is co-funded by the state of Lower Saxony and the Federal Government of Germany.
STORAG ETZEL and Gasunie are working together in this pilot project with DEEP.KBB, DLR, HARTMANN Valves, SOCON and TU Clausthal.