Hydrogen pipeline from Gulf to Europe feasible, study indicates

30 June 2023 Consultancy.eu 2 min. read

Creating a pipeline to convey hydrogen from the Gulf Council Countries (GCC) directly to Europe via Egypt is feasible and could be a competitive alternative to shipping by sea.

An initial assessment has found that a pipeline traversing the Mediterranean Sea and meeting land again in Greece would be technically and economically feasible and could transport about 2.5 million tons of hydrogen annually. This assessment was conducted by global consulting firm AFRY Management Consulting, in collaboration with RINA, a Genoa-based inspection and certification company,

“Through the combined expertise of AFRY and RINA, this first-of-its-kind study considers routing alternatives, technical parameters and feasibility, especially for the deep-sea pipeline section, geo-strategic framework conditions and top-level economic estimates of a direct hydrogen pipeline link between the Gulf and Europe,” explained Andrea Bombardi, Executive Vice President at RINA.

Hydrogen pipeline from Gulf to Europe feasible, study indicates

“The findings of the study represent a decisive contribution to boost the hydrogen economy,” he added.

The GCC countries – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates – are already top providers of fuel to markets around the world. In the coming years, the region is positioned to become a leading producer of green and blue hydrogen, in addition to synthesis byproducts like ammonia.

“The report provides a unique and highly interesting view of a significant opportunity to take a step forward in the green energy transition for Europe and the MENA region,” said Antonio Nodari, member of the Executive Management Team at AFRY.

Green hydrogen is a type of hydrogen gas that is produced through a process called electrolysis, which uses renewable energy sources to split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. Because this hydrogen gas is produced without emitting any greenhouse gases or pollutants, it is considered a premier clean and sustainable energy that could replace dirtier energy sources on a large scale.

There has already been interest in Europe for more (and cheaper) hydrogen as countries are increasingly beginning to look beyond oil and gas. The war in Ukraine has mostly cut off the European market from inexpensive Russian gas, causing fears that fuel supplies will run low in the winters to come.

Huge concerns about climate change have also pushed European countries to begin seeing green hydrogen as an important sustainable fuel where solar and wind fall short.

The market for hydrogen is certain to continue to grow and Europe’s appetite for new energy sources is unlikely to die down as the war in Ukraine and other global instabilities like inflation continue to threaten energy supplies. For example, there has recently also been some attention to Azerbaijan as another potential source of importing hydrogen via a pipeline to Europe.