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Hydrogen future: Netz Leipzig, ONTRAS and Mitnetz Gas join forces

Companies sign letter of intent for future cooperation

Central German energy companies are joining forces to promote the future topic of hydrogen in the region: Netz Leipzig, ONTRAS and Mitnetz Gas want to jointly develop the hydrogen infrastructure for Central Germany in future. This was signed in a declaration of intent on 3 November 2022. The aim is to push ahead with the joint development of the hydrogen grid infrastructure in the coming years or to convert and develop the current natural gas infrastructure into a hydrogen infrastructure in the region.

"Energy from hydrogen is a key to the energy sustainability of our region. We all have an interest in deepening the cooperation in the realisation of the supra-regional and regional hydrogen network in the Leipzig region. As a Leipzig-based company, we are particularly interested in developing the hydrogen infrastructure in the city of Leipzig," says Andreas Kühnl, Managing Director of Netz Leipzig.

"As a long-distance network operator, we want to network the Leipzig region with the other hydrogen centres," says Uwe Ringel, Managing Director of ONTRAS. "Integrated into the emerging European Hydrogen Backbone, we are creating the technical prerequisites for a high degree of flexibility and security of supply. Our declaration signed today describes the roles of the respective partners based on their specialisations for the planning and realisation of a hydrogen network in the Leipzig area. Each company contributes its special know-how - for the benefit of all."

Dirk Sattur, technical managing director of Mitnetz Gas, sums up: "As a regional gas distribution network operator in Central Germany, we have the know-how to quickly set up a hydrogen infrastructure on site. The aim is to enable the transformation of our gas distribution network and our customers' plants on the basis of existing resources and assets in an uncomplicated and timely manner. For example, pipelines have to be considered as a whole and converted, expanded or adapted. We can only do this together with our partners and municipalities."

At this point in time, the companies intend to develop the current natural gas system into a hydrogen infrastructure in their roles. "I am very pleased that these three large network operators in Saxony want to lead the future topic of hydrogen to success together. This will lay the foundations for decarbonising our economy and attracting new, innovative companies. We will do our utmost to support this cooperation," says Saxony's Minister of Energy and Climate Protection Wolfram Günther.


Background: The companies at a glance

Netz Leipzig acts as an independent distribution network operator and bundles the competences and services relating to the transport and distribution of electricity, gas and district heating in Leipzig in its network area and makes these media available to all users and suppliers on a non-discriminatory basis. Netz Leipzig is an employer for more than 400 people. Netz Leipzig aims to create connection opportunities for end users of hydrogen in the Leipzig urban area and would therefore like to connect to the future supra-regional hydrogen infrastructure.

ONTRAS operates the 7,700-kilometre long-distance pipeline network in eastern Germany and is responsible for the transport of gaseous energy. The company is actively shaping the energy market of the future and developing sustainable solutions for the infrastructure. In order to make the latter suitable for a renewable gas supply, it plans and implements numerous projects together with partner companies. For example, it wants to open up the Leipzig region with long-distance hydrogen pipelines and connect other network operators as well as individual connection users to its future long-distance hydrogen network.

Mitnetz Gas operates gas grids with a total length of around 7,000 kilometres, which extend over parts of the federal states of Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia and Brandenburg. The network area supplied is 13,957 km². Within the network area there are 14 biogas feed-in plants which feed into the existing natural gas network.


Company press contacts

Netz Leipzig:
Peter Krutsch
Tel. 0341 355300-88

Dr. Ralf Borschinsky, press spokesman
Tel.: 0341 27111-2111

Mitnetz Gas:
Evelyn Zaruba, press spokeswoman
Tel.: 0371 482 1748

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