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Finland’s first hydrogen transmission project moves forward

Demonstration project will create conditions for hydrogen infrastructure development in Finland

Gasgrid Finland Oy’s hydrogen transmission infrastructure demonstration project aims to construct a pipeline to enable the hydrogen generated at Kemira Oyj’s Joutseno plant to be transported to Ovako’s Imatra Oy Ab’s steel mill in Imatra along Gasgrid’s hydrogen pipeline. This the first hydrogen transmission project extending beyond an industrial site. EUR 9.5 million in RRF energy investment support under the EU’s NextGenerationEU funding instrument has been granted for project design and potential construction. This support is important to promote further design of the project.             

The project will create highly important conditions to develop Finland’s energy and raw materials system to enable the extensive renewable energy utilisation, new innovative products, solutions, value chains and ecosystems. The goal is to create the best possible conditions in Finland to produce and, in particular, to further process hydrogen. If implemented, the project would be Finland’s first step towards national and international markets based on hydrogen enabled by a hydrogen infrastructure.

“Under the recent resolution adopted by the Government, Finland’s goal is to become the European leader in the hydrogen economy. Hydrogen transmission and storage have a key role in enabling the hydrogen economy. The project will help us to explore the possibilities to create a scalable and replicable model for a pipeline infrastructure,” says Sara Kärki, Head of Strategic Analysis and RDI at Gasgrid Finland Oy.

The demonstration project will enable the implementation of Finland’s first full hydrogen value chain from electricity through chemical industry by-product hydrogen to green steel industry end products and, consequently, will promote the development of Finland’s energy and raw materials system. The project will strengthen sectoral integration where various forms of energy balance each other and even out consumption peaks, which in turn allows for more sustainable energy production and consumption in buildings, industry and transport alike.

Kemira regards the hydrogen pipeline transmission project as an important enabler of regional hydrogen cluster development.

“At Kemira’s Joutseno plant, hydrogen is generated as a by-product of chlorate production. A well-functioning transmission infrastructure will enable efficient deliveries of hydrogen and create synergies and growth capacities for the further processing of hydrogen,” says Janne Tynninen, Site Manager, Kemira Joutseno plant.

“We are delighted with the funding decision for the hydrogen transmission project. Ovako already now generates 95% less carbon dioxide emissions in steelmaking than the steel industry average. Besides this, since January 2022 we have counterbalanced the remaining emissions through carbon offsets. Utilisation of the new technology and the opportunity to use hydrogen as a fuel going forward will support Ovako’s zero carbon goals,” comments Klaus Enwald, President and CEO, Ovako Imatra Oy Ab.

Gasgrid Finland has been tasked with developing the national hydrogen network and international hydrogen infrastructure and hydrogen market to support Finland’s energy independence, economy and industrial investments. Gasgrid Vetyverkot Oy has been established for this purpose.

To reach these goals, Gasgrid Finland participates actively in the vision work for the development of a Finnish and pan-European hydrogen infrastructure and market in the European Hydrogen Backbone, (EHB) group. Gasgrid Finland is also involved in the Nordic Hydrogen Route project, to develop the hydrogen infrastructure in the Bothnia Bay area. Besides these, Gasgrid is developing hydrogen networks in the Baltic Sea area in the Baltic Sea Hydrogen Collector project as well as in the Nordic-Baltic Hydrogen Corridor project. The goal of the projects is to create optimal conditions for industrial investment in Finland, especially from the perspective of the further processing of hydrogen.

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