Bulgartransgaz opens market consultation on hydrogen transmission capacity


Photo: iStock


August 18, 2023






August 18, 2023





Bulgaria’s gas transmission and storage system operator Bulgartransgaz launched a non-binding market demand assessment survey for hydrogen.

Bulgartransgaz is preparing to introduce hydrogen in domestic and cross-border transmission infrastructure. In particular, the Bulgarian gas transmission and storage system operator is working with Greece’s National Natural Gas System Operator – DESFA (also known as Hellenic Gas Transmission System Operator) on a project for an interconnector for pure hydrogen.

On the domestic front, the company intends to adapt the network to allow a 10% share of hydrogen in fossil gas.

Bulgartransgaz has just initiated a nonbinding market demand assessment survey for hydrogen transmission capacity. It asked all current and potential market participants (producers, shippers and consumers) to submit their indications.

Measuring interest among market participants

The results of the study are envisaged to show the interest among market participants in the potential use of hydrogen as part of the future energy mix. The survey and its coordination with the neighboring operators will facilitate the timely planning of the required infrastructure, according to Bulgartransgaz.

The results are expected to indicate demand, potential production sites in Bulgaria and the exit points to end users

The results are seen to contribute to the timely planning and construction of the necessary infrastructure for the transmission of hydrogen to and through Bulgaria, the call reads. The survey is aimed at identifying the expected demand for hydrogen transmission capacity, the potential production sites in Bulgaria and the exit points to end users.

The state-owned company is receiving input until September 15. It said it would present the results as aggregated data.

Green hydrogen is still far from profitable

The European Commission’s REPowerEU plan provides for significant consumption of renewable hydrogen by 2030 – 20 million tons, half of which would be from domestic production, Bulgartransgaz noted.

The company is part of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas (ENTSOG), European Clean Hydrogen Alliance, European Hydrogen Backbone (EHB) initiative and Gas Infrastructure Europe.

The EU has billions in subsidies aimed at establishing a green hydrogen supply chain including domestic production, corridors and the use of the renewable gas in industrial production and transportation

Of note, the European Union is set to label hydrogen produced using electricity from nuclear power plants as low-carbon hydrogen. Colloquially it is called pink hydrogen. Green hydrogen, on the other hand, is made using electricity only from renewable sources. In both processes, water is separated in electrolyzers into oxygen and hydrogen.

The production of green hydrogen is a solution for storing excess energy from solar and wind power plants, but it has a long way before becoming profitable. But the European Union is pouring billions of euros in subsidies into the budding industry to gain an edge against competitors around the world.

Almost all the hydrogen currently produced is from fossil fuels, primarily gas. It can also be used in industrial production and transportation.

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