Launch of a call for hydrogen interest in Fos-sur-Mer

On January 12, 2023, GRTgaz launched a call for interest in order to deepen knowledge of the needs and thus confirm the economic interest of a hydrogen transport infrastructure by pipeline linking the industrial and port area of ​​Fos-sur-Mer and storage capacities located in Manosque, named HYnframed.

This area was also chosen to accommodate the arrival of BarMar, the first hydrogen pipeline decided at European level which will link Spain to France. GRTgaz thus proposes to study the construction, development and operation of an infrastructure dedicated to hydrogen accessible to all market players by 2028, following on from an initial feasibility study carried out in 2022.

Fos-sur-Mer has been identified as a promising and strategic basin for hydrogen. Indeed, the presence of heavy industries such as steel, refining, petrochemicals and energy make Fos-Sur-Mer one of the areas with high potential for reducing emissions with a mature ecosystem, oriented towards hydrogen. low carbon and renewable as a vector of decarbonization. In addition, the industrial-port area is one of the leading logistics hubs in France (land, sea and airport) and thus presents opportunities for decarbonizing the mobility sector. It benefits from the proximity of gas storage infrastructures. Finally, the area was chosen for the arrival of BarMar, the 1st offshore hydrogen pipeline decided at European level which will link Spain to France.

In 2022, GRTgaz, supported by ADEME and the South Region and in collaboration with a group of industrial pioneers, carried out an initial feasibility study for a shared transmission network. This study confirms the possibility of an infrastructure connecting hydrogen production and consumption projects to the hydrogen storage projects identified in the region, as well as to the BarMar project in the long term.

As an extension of this study, the Call for Interest (Open Season) launched today aims to confirm the interest of such an infrastructure for the transport of hydrogen by pipeline in the area from Fos-sur-Mer to Manosque . This call for interest of the HYnframed project is aimed at all project leaders related to hydrogen, interested in a future infrastructure in the industrial-port area (industrial consumers, developers of production or storage projects), as well as mobility players. All are invited to participate in the first phase of the Call for Interest by expressing their expression of interest via a dedicated questionnaire .

The Call for Interest of the HYnframed project will be articulated in two phases: a first non-binding phase (the present expression of interest) to confirm the needs and allow to detail the type of infrastructure to be developed. A second binding phase to contractualize transmission capacities with all interested parties and decide on the corresponding investment.

Depending on the confirmation of market interest, specific technical studies will detail the elements of the technical solution, the route, the planning of the project, its environmental impacts and will make it possible to compile the administrative file and the transport offer.

The first phase of the Call for Interest will be open until March 12, 2023.

The proposed HYnframed infrastructure is consistent with the vision of the European hydrogen backbone (European Hydrogen Backbone) promoted by around thirty gas transport operators in Europe to ensure the security of supply for hydrogen consumers and the creation of a European common market. In particular, it will make it possible to connect the Fos-sur-Mer area to the hydrogen storage project in salt caves in Manosque and to the H2Med corridor from Portugal, via the BarMar hydrogen pipeline.

For Thierry Trouvé, Managing Director of GRTgaz, “This new phase of the HYnframed project is the last stage before offering transmission capacities to the market in the Fos-sur-Mer area, an area which is characterized by its strong dynamism in terms of hydrogen projects, by the presence of a hydrogen storage project in salt caverns in Manosque and by the future arrival of the BarMar hydrogen pipeline. This project is part of GRTgaz’s strategy to develop local ecosystems, with GRTgaz playing the role of facilitator in the development of production and consumption projects, to then interconnect these ecosystems with each other and with storage, in line with the vision expressed in the European Hydrogen Backbone.

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