Authorities at the energy and development ministries are working on approval procedures for five hydrogen-related projects involving as many companies – Damco (Copelouzos group), Snam, Energean, TAP and gas grid operator DESFA – all seeking their inclusion on the EU’s list of Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI).
Damco is interested in developing a low-carbon blue hydrogen production facility in Greece’s north. The project is planned to use natural gas for the production of hydrogen, while also capturing carbon emissions.
A Damco partnership with Italy’s Snam, involved in a number of hydrogen projects, is looking to develop three hydrogen producing facilities, in Athens, Thessaloniki and Alexandroupoli, as well as hydrogen reloading railway stations.
Energean plans to develop a blue hydrogen plant of virtually zero emissions at Prinos, using natural gas and combining carbon capture and storage technology. Energean has already being given recovery fund approval and funding for this project.
DESFA, the gas grid operator, wants to develop hydrogen transmission projects.
TAP is interested in developing projects linked to the major White Dragon project – involving the country’s biggest energy groups with gas company DEPA Commercial as head coordinator, for a hydrogen producing facility in northern Greece’s lignite-dependent west Macedonia region – with the intention of transporting and exporting hydrogen to European markets through interconnections.
Once the five hydrogen projects are approved domestically, their investors will need to prove the maturity of the projects, technically and financially, in accordance with IPCEI criteria.
Five Greek hydrogen production project proposals have been included in a first-round list submitted by the government to the European Commission for inclusion in its Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI) category, reserved for projects promising important contribution to economic growth, jobs and competitiveness.
The five Greek project proposals, approved by energy minister Kostas Skrekas and development minister Adonis Georgiadis, were selected from 23 proposals submitted by companies for contention following an annoucement by the two ministries last April.
The short list of proposals is planned to be assessed by the European Commission in November for a place on the IPCEI list, ensuring EU support funds.
The list features the 8 billion-euro White Dragon project – involving the country’s biggest energy groups with gas company DEPA Commercial as head coordinator – for a hydrogen producing facility in northern Greece’s lignite-dependent west Macedonia region; the White Dragon-linked Green HiPo project of Advent Technologies; the H2CEM hydrogen project by cement producer TITAN; the BLUE MED project, for eco-friendly blue hydrogen production, by Motor Oil and gas grid operator DESFA; as well as the H2CAT hydrogen storage and transportation project by B&T Composites.
Greek gas grid operator DESFA plans to invest in biomethane and hydrogen infrastructure to be in a position to utilize these eco-friendly gas options and avoid being impacted by the energy transition.
DESFA’s experienced European gas companies holding stakes in the Greek operator believe green biomethane technologies are more developed and mature compared to those available for hydrogen.
Snam, Enagas and DESFA’s other shareholders – Fluxys, Damco – have set as a primary objective to “decarbonize the natural gas chain”.
DESFA officials are in talks with universities, market authorities, as well as Greek enterprises to develop biomethane pilot programs.
More projects such as the White Dragon project – bringing Greece’s biggest industrial corporations closer for major investments in electrolytic hydrogen production by means of solar energy from photovoltaic parks – can be expected next winter, officials anticipate.
If the White Dragon project is approved, DESFA plans to upgrade its existing natural gas network in order to be able to receive hydrogen production, transport from the country’s north to south, channel to TAP and, via TAP, transport to the EU.
DESFA’s share of the White Dragon project, estimated between 30 and 35 percent of the cost, is expected to reach 1.5 billion euros, of which one billion euros – if the project is approved – will concern the development of new infrastructure for hydrogen transmission through the Greek gas network, measuring 1,466 km.
Leading Greek energy players are gearing up to participate in a European Commission effort concerning the development of the continent’s first major investments in eco-friendly hydrogen production, a key aspect in Brussels’ decarbonization drive.
Interested parties face an April 27 deadline to submit proposals concerning a number of categories, including PCI-supported sustainable low-emission hydrogen production, the emphasis placed on RES-generated hydrogen.
The White Dragon project, as it has been dubbed, has brought Greece’s biggest industrial corporations closer, as they prepare to jointly bid for project categories Brussels will subsidize in the context of the Hydrogen Europe program.
The White Dragon project provides for investments of 2.5 billion euros in electrolytic hydrogen production by means of solar energy from photovoltaic parks with a capacity of 1.5 GW. They are planned for northern Greece’s west Macedonia region, a lignite-dependent economy.
Gas utility DEPA, gas grid operator DESFA, petroleum group Motor Oil, the Mytilineos group, Terna, Hellenic Petroleum ELPE, Polish company Solaris, as well as the Demokritos National Center for Scientific Research and the Center for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH) are taking part.
The hydrogen to be produced will be used for district heating, fuel to be exported via the Trans Adriatic Pipeline, and as fuel for large vehicles such as lorries and buses.