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Early start of measures confirmed by BMWK: Start of work on the hydrogen network in Eastern Germany

This week, ONTRAS Gastransport GmbH received approval from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) for the early start of measures for its infrastructure projects doing hydrogen and Green Octopus Mitteldeutschland submitted in the IPCEI Hydrogen. This allows ONTRAS to start work on the future hydrogen network in Eastern Germany. 

Hydrogen network in Eastern Germany

The two infrastructure projects doing hydrogen and Green Octopus Mitteldeutschland are the core of the ONTRAS network for hydrogen, the planned 900-kilometre pipeline network for the transport of hydrogen in Eastern Germany. The pipelines will connect producers, storage facilities and consumers of green hydrogen and will provide access to import points. „We are pleased to be able to start the concrete work on the ONTRAS hydrogen network. A functioning transport system is the foundation for the hydrogen economy in Eastern Germany – and thus for the success of the transformation of our energy system“, says Ralph Bahke, Managing Director Controlling and Development. His colleague Uwe Ringel, Managing Director Operations and Safety, adds: „We want to build a pipeline network of over 900 kilometres by 2030, mostly by repurposing existing natural gas pipelines. Our colleagues are in the middle of the planning. With the decision of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action to start the measures early, we can now finally go ahead put them into practice.“

According to both managing directors, it is important that the H2 infrastructure grows hand in hand with the emerging hydrogen economy in order to ensure a high degree of flexibility and security of supply right from the start. "We therefore call on policy makers to create binding framework conditions as soon as possible to accelerate the rapid development of hydrogen infrastructure in Eastern Germany," said the ONTRAS management.

Starting signal for concrete engineering planning 

doing hydrogen and Green Octopus Mitteldeutschland were selected by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action as IPCEI (Important Projects of Common European Inter-est). ONTRAS has submitted the corresponding pre-notification and funding applications in 2022. In the coming months, work will begin on the implementation of the two projects, including the engineering design and preparations for the necessary official approval procedures.

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