German natural gas grid operator GASCADE and Belgian energy infrastructure group Fluxys have applied to the European Commission to have ‘Project of Common Interest’ status conferred on their AquaDuctus project.
AquaDuctus is a proposed 400 km-long offshore pipeline that is to run from the north-west German coast at two points towards north-east Scotland, stopping in the middle of the North Sea, for possible interconnections from England, Scotland, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and Norway. It will allow for import of hydrogen to Germany via the AquaDuctus backbone, and the idea is that green hydrogen will also be produced offshore, powered by offshore wind farms, and then transported to the German mainland via the pipeline. Indeed, the SEN-1 hydrogen wind farm would be the first to be connected to the pipeline, with flows scheduled to begin in 2030.
With studies estimating that around 100 GW of hydrogen production may eventually be sited in the North Sea, the project could become an essential piece of infrastructure for the region if it goes ahead, and the application gives a window into how the European energy landscape may head over the vital next decade.