An initial study conducted by inspection, certification and consulting engineering business RINA, and AFRY, a European engineering, design and advisory services company, has evaluated how the Gulf region and Europe could be linked directly with a pipeline to transport low-carbon hydrogen.
The results of the duo’s study show that there is a “transformative opportunity to fully unlock the Gulf’s immense potential as a cost-effective source of low-carbon hydrogen for Europe”. Furthermore, due to its surplus of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) and Natural Gas reserves, it is anticipated that the Gulf region will become one of the world’s leading producers of green and blue hydrogen, ammonia and other synthesis products.
The proposed concept would see a hydrogen pipeline joining Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, before it crosses the Mediterranean Sea to connect to Europe. Initial analysis shows that a suitable pipeline configuration could be capable of transporting up to 100TWh (2.5 million tons) of hydrogen each year. With additional pipelines built, this number could be scaled significantly.
RINA and AFRY’s study also outlined the cost of transporting hydrogen through the pipeline – approximately €1.2/kg H2. Additionally, countries within the Gulf could provide green and blue hydrogen to the economic hub of Europe at Levelized Costs Of Delivered Hydrogen at a cost of approximately €2.7/kg beginning in the 2030s, before a decrease to €2.3/kg.
“The collaboration between RINA and AFRY 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 Management Consulting. “As well as understanding the opportunities, the expert team who have worked on this report have a realistic view of the obstacles that need to be overcome and have the solutions to address those challenges.”
Andrea Bombardi, executive vice president at RINA, commented, “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 as an element of an integrated green energy and industry system across Europe and MENA.
“The findings of the study represent a decisive contribution to boost the hydrogen economy. Together with AFRY, we have identified a potential stable corridor to bring supply and demand together. The scale-up of hydrogen adoption goes through projects like this.”