The Ukrainian gas storage operator Ukrtransgaz is studying the possibility of transferring the Krasnopopovsky underground storage in the Luhansk region to store hydrogen or its mixture with methane, said Ukrtransgaz chief engineer Vladimir Rudko.
“We are considering this storage facility for use in a pilot project to store hydrogen or a mixture,” he told reporters at a press conference on Wednesday. According to him, tests are already underway in Europe on the effect of hydrogen on the existing gas transmission equipment.
“Now the Slovak company NAFTA is testing the possibility of using compressors, valves, pipelines. They are testing different modes, different volumes of hydrogen in methane, which can be used as much as possible so as not to make a global reconstruction of equipment, "he said.
Recall that NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine and the German gas trader RWE Supply & Trading on the day of the visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Kiev agreed to cooperate in the development of hydrogen projects. In particular, we are talking about the development of projects for the production and storage of green hydrogen and ammonia in Ukraine and their import to Germany.
In 2020, the EU presented a hydrogen strategy, which provides for the widespread use of the so-called "green" hydrogen. The EU views Ukraine as one of the key partners for the implementation of these plans. Europe expects that up to 10 gigawatts of capacities for the production of "green" hydrogen will be built in Ukraine by 2030.
Replacing gas with hydrogen in the gas transmission system is not as easy as it seems at first glance. The reason is the rapid corrosion of the metal - an ordinary low-pressure gas pipe is corroded by hydrogen in a few hours. At the same time, if natural gas diluted with hydrogen is supplied through pipes, then the 20% mixture can be transported by existing pipelines with relatively little modernization.