GasNet, the largest Czech natural gas distributor, is ready to increase the share of hydrogen in its gas network. The company has launched an intensive cooperation with ForH2Energy, which plans to build a hydrogen production plant in the Triangle industrial zone in Usti and Labem Labem region. This is the first potential hydrogen plant that GasNet would connect to its gas distribution network in this area. Both companies have signed a memorandum of cooperation.
"The gas industry has its green and renewable future – and that is hydrogen. Our infrastructure is ready to distribute up to a 20 % blend of hydrogen with natural gas already today. Increasing the share of hydrogen in our network is part of our long-term strategy. As a leader in natural gas distribution in the Czech Republic, we want to show that hydrogen is a path that clearly makes sense," says Andrej Prno, GasNet's Director of Operational Asset Management, adding: "It is a green gas that will reduce emissions, help meet the future energy needs of the Czech Republic and strengthen our energy independence."
ForH2Energy plans to build an entire hydrogen economy in the region. In addition to the construction of a photovoltaic power plant and an electrolyser for the production of green hydrogen, the project also envisages the development of scientific research activities in the field of hydrogen and the construction of production and assembly halls that will provide facilities for hydrogen technology suppliers. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2024, first testing of operations is planned at the end of 2025.
The choice to build a pilot project for a local hydrogen production plant did not fall on the Ústí nad Labem region by chance. The Ústí nad Labem Region is very actively involved in the hydrogen topic and has the ambition to become the "energy hydrogen heart" of the Czech Republic. In March this year, it became the first Czech region with its own hydrogen strategy, which describes in detail the plans for the development of the regional hydrogen economy.
"The region has traditionally been home to a significant number of industrial, energy and chemical companies with long-standing experience in hydrogen production. Therefore, qualified personnel with a wide range of industry know-how are available. At the same time, the region itself is very open to the development of local hydrogen production. This is therefore a perfect connection," says Iva Dvořáková, Ústínad Labem Region Councillor for Strategy Preparation and Project Implementation.