News

News and updates about BHC

Gotland, Åland, and Bornholm sign Letter of Intent to collaborate on making energy islands a sucess in the Baltic Sea

On Jan 22, the Municipality of Gotland, the regional Åland Government, and the regional municipality of Bornholm signed a Letter of Intent that sets forth the intentions in the future collaboration developing renewable energy resources in the Baltic Sea.

Read the full news story below. 

Baltic Energy Islands Loi 5

On Jan 22, the Municipality of Gotland, the regional Åland Government, and the regional municipality of Bornholm signed a Letter of Intent that sets forth the intentions in the future collaboration developing renewable energy resources in the Baltic Sea.

 

One of the key elements in the collaboration agreement is to promote energy infrastructure projects in the region. This is great news for the region, and the Baltic Sea Hydrogen Collector welcomes this important initiative to strengthen the interregional development and collaboration between island communities.

 

Baltic Energy Ilands LoI

 

This is exactly what the Baltic Sea Hydrogen Collector aims to do – establishing an approx. 1,250km hydrogen infrastructure in the Baltic Sea that can accelerate the build out of Baltic renewable energy and at the same time enabling much needed balancing of the power grid in the region delivered through hydrogen production. 

 

The Baltic Sea Hydrogen Collector plans to transport green hydrogen produced from abundant wind resources and other renewable energy sources in the Baltic Sea Region and connect mainland Finland and Sweden with Åland, Gotland with Germany. Branch lines to other countries may be added.

 

Succeeding will enable an acceleration of a hydrogen economy in the region providing the Baltic Sea countries with better and quicker access to green hydrogen, leading to easier and more cost efficient decarbonization of sectors that are not easy to electrify. This is strongly needed if the EU is to adhere to the climate targets set out in the Fit for 55 legislative packages.

 

This corresponds to the core of the three parties aim: 1) to strengthening interregional energy infrastructure that can aid both energy independence and economic development, and 2) at the same time supporting the role of island communities to continue the acceleration of climate and green energy transition.

 

Also, the Baltic Sea Hydrogen Collector will enable industries in the Baltics to decarbonize and to secure local jobs, growth, and value creation.

On Nov 28, the European Commission announced that the Baltic Sea Hydrogen Collector (BHC) is included on its 6th list of European Projects of Common Interest (PCI). The Commission will now submit the PCI list to the European Parliament and the Council for approval. The non-objection period for the co-legislators is expected to be finalized in Q1 2024.

  

BHC is a ground-breaking project that will create a first-of-its-kind offshore hydrogen pipeline infrastructure in the Baltic Sea Region to secure more energy for the Nordics and Europe. The project was initiated by the Finnish and Swedish transmission system operators Gasgrid Finland Oy and Nordion Energi AB together with the renewable energy developers OX2 and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners.

 

The BHC plans to build a 1,250 km pipeline system which will transport green hydrogen produced from abundant wind resources and other renewable energy sources in the Baltic Sea Region and connect mainland Finland and Sweden with Åland and Germany. The infrastructure will unlock the potential for more energy production in the Baltic Sea Region and support the creation of an efficient, harmonized, and reliable European hydrogen market.

 

Hydrogen has a vital role in balancing Europe’s future energy system as it offer storage and balancing solutions. Additionally, hydrogen supports decarbonization of hard-to-abate sectors and green industrialization on a national and EU level.

 

By being part of the PCI-list, the BHC is deemed as a key cross-border infrastructure project that will contribute to the EU’s energy independence, climate targets and to establishing an affordable, secure and sustainable European energy system. The Parliament and the Council have two months to approve the Commission’s list. If neither of the institutions reject the Commission’s proposal, the PCI list enters into force. 

 

The PCI status will support the BHC’s realization of a large-scale offshore hydrogen pipeline infrastructure in the Baltic Sea Region by enabling simplified permitting processes and the possibility to apply for funding from the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility program.

 

BHC is currently performing technical studies and investigations into possible locations that could be suitable for constructing the projected hydrogen pipeline. The pipeline is expected to be ready by 2030, depending on further decision-making. 

 

 


 

On June 30, the Baltic Sea Hydrogen Collector (BHC) project hosted an event in Almedalen, Visby, on the island of Gotland, off Sweden’s Baltic Sea coast. The event gathered leading profiles from the energy industry who agreed that establishing an infrastructure and creating a market for green hydrogen in the Baltic Sea region will play a vital role in the climate transition. 

 

Leading profiles from the energy industry participated in a panel at the BHC event, namely Hillevi Priscar, Country Manager Sweden at OX2, Hans Kreisel, CEO at Nordion Energi, Robert Andrén, Director General at the Swedish Energy Agency, and Christer Bruzelius, Senior Partner and Project Owner at Gotlandsbolaget. They joined in an inspiring conversation about the benefits that an efficient hydrogen infrastructure could bring to the energy system, industry, and society at large.

 

-       Hydrogen and an infrastructure for hydrogen distribution play an important role in the transition to a fossil-free society, said Hillevi Priscar, at the event.

-       In discussions about the energy transition, we tend to focus on energy production and easily forget about the infrastructure dimension of the matter. But society’s transition requires efficient solutions for transports of renewable energy, added Hans Kreisel.

 

The panel agreed that the establishment of a hydrogen infrastructure in the Baltic region would also contribute to reducing Europe’s dependency on fossil-fuels from third-party countries, thereby strengthening the region’s strategic autonomy and security.

 

What preconditions a project such as the BHC requires was another topic discussed at the event. According to the panel, establishing an operational hydrogen infrastructure in the Baltic region has gone from being a hypothetical and visionary idea to being fully feasible. But its realization requires collaboration between business and politics.

 

-       I believe in hydrogen, and I think it will happen. At the Energy Agency, we expect the government to further clarify its position on hydrogen in the nearest future, said Robert Andrén.

-       This is the first time we’ve seen an example of a large-scale infrastructure capable of both storing and distributing energy, said Christer Bruzelius, about the BHC project’s hydrogen pipeline. The hydrogen infrastructure’s storage capacity will likely cause future energy prices to fall, he added.

 

The BHC project is currently performing technical studies and investigations into possible locations that could be suitable for constructing the projected hydrogen pipeline. It is also awaiting a response from the EU to its application for being classified as a project of common interest (PCI) and thus to be qualified to apply for EU funding.

 

About Almedalen

Almedalen Week takes place in Visby, Sweden each summer. It engages high-level politicians, political parties, corporates, and civil society in discussions about politics and society and includes top-level speeches from politicians in the program. Visby was a suitable location for the BHC event as the projected hydrogen infrastructure is going to be connected to the island of Gotland.

 

Gas transmission system operators and leading renewable energy developers investigate possibility to develop offshore hydrogen infrastructure and market in the Baltic Sea region

 

Leading infrastructure and industry companies Gasgrid Finland, Nordion Energi, OX2, and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners are taking concrete steps to realise the European Hydrogen Backbone vision, developed by 31 gas infrastructure companies, in the Baltic Sea region. The companies have agreed to investigate the possibility to develop new large-scale offshore hydrogen pipeline infrastructure connecting Finland, Sweden, and Central Europe by 2030 to provide clean, sustainable hydrogen for Europe.

 

There is a significant potential for production and use of hydrogen in countries surrounding the Baltic Sea as well as for developing offshore wind and hydrogen production. The Baltic Sea region has excellent conditions for the production of onshore and offshore wind energy. With strategic investments in the infrastructure, renewable energy, and hydrogen production, up to 55% of the clean hydrogen target defined in the REPowerEU Plan can be produced in the region simultaneously supporting innovative decarbonization projects within each country as well as helping the EU to meet its overall goals.

 

In the energy field and in response to Russian aggression, the prime ministers of eight states surrounding the Baltic Sea signed The Marienborg Declaration in August 2022. The declaration includes high-level political commitment to explore joint cross-border renewable energy projects and identify infrastructure needs. Therefore, they set combined ambitions for offshore wind in the Baltic Sea region of at least 19.6 GW by 2030. The Marienborg Declaration recognizes substantial potential for offshore wind power in the Baltic Sea basin, reaching up to 93 GW.

 

The European Hydrogen Backbone (EHB) initiative aims to accelerate Europe’s decarbonisation journey by defining the critical role of hydrogen infrastructure – based on existing and new pipelines – in enabling the development of a competitive, liquid, pan-European renewable, and low-carbon hydrogen market. Development of hydrogen infrastructure will be a prerequisite for renewable hydrogen market creation and market integration. Therefore, Finnish and Swedish gas transmission system operators (TSOs) Gasgrid Finland and Nordion Energi have, together with industry companies OX2 and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, launched a project called the Baltic Sea Hydrogen Collector (BHC).

 

BHC is an offshore pipeline project that will connect mainland Finland and Sweden with Finnish Åland island and Germany by 2030. The offshore project may also be connected to other energy islands in the region such as Gotland and Bornholm in Sweden and Denmark.

 

The aim of the Baltic Sea Hydrogen Collector is to unlock the significant offshore wind potential, in Bothnia Bay and Baltic Sea region, creating a booming hydrogen market and connecting both supply and demand.

 

BHC has a critical role in creating an efficient, harmonised, and integrated hydrogen market in Europe. It offers solutions to the collection, storage, and transportation of green H2, providing market integration and a solution to maintain balance in the energy system. It enables making the offshore wind energy in the region a secure and flexible energy source, increasing system resilience, energy independence, and security of supply. It will also support decarbonization of hard-to-abate sectors and green industrialization in the Nordics, Baltics, and Central Europe.

 

By creating a guaranteed route from production to use, the Baltic Sea Hydrogen Collector provides confidence to green H2 producers and users to invest in the new hydrogen value chains and partake in supplying the rising green H2 demand in Europe.

 

Company background and media inquiries:

 

Gasgrid Finland Oy is a Finnish state-owned company and transmission system operator with system responsibility. We offer our customers safe, reliable, and cost-efficient transmission of gases. We actively develop our transmission platform, services, and the gas market in a customer-oriented manner to promote the carbon-neutral energy system of the future. Find out more: www.gasgrid.fi/

 

Contact: Sara Kärki, Gasgrid Finland, Head of Strategic analysis & RDI, sara.karki@gasgrid.fi, +358401581722

 

Nordion Energi specialises in energy infrastructure and is driven by a clear ambition: to be part of driving the transition to 100% green energy. Nordion Energi is the TSO (Transmission System Operator) for the Swedish main gas grid and owns and operates the country’s biggest gas distribution network and also has electricity network operations. Nordion Energi ensures our customers such as industries, municipalities, CHP plants, households, filling stations and restaurants are always supplied with energy in a safe, sustainable way.

 

Contact: Saila Horttanainen, Nordion Energi AB, Director of Communications, Nordion Energi AB, saila.horttanainen@nordionenergi.se, tel. +46706227606

 

OX2 develops, constructs, and sells onshore and offshore windfarms and solar PV farms. OX2 also offer management of wind- and solar farms after completion. OX2’s project development portfolio consists of in-house developed as well as acquired wind and solar projects in various phases of development. The company is also active in developing projects based on other renewable energy technologies, such as hydrogen and energy storage. OX2 is operating on ten markets in Europe: Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, France, Spain, Italy and Greece. Sales in 2021 was about 5 billion SEK. The company has about 350 employees and is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. OX2 is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm since 2022. www.ox2.com

 

Contact: Edvard Lind, OX2, Communication, press@ox2.com, +46(0)727271117

 

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners

Founded in 2012, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners P/S (CIP) today is the world’s largest dedicated fund manager within greenfield renewable energy investments and a global leader in offshore wind. The funds managed by CIP focuses on investments in offshore and onshore wind, solar PV, biomass and energy-from-waste, transmission and distribution, reserve capacity and storage, and Power-to-X.

CIP manages ten funds and has to date raised approximately EUR 19bn for investments in energy and associated infrastructure from more than 135 international institutional investors. CIP’s will accelerate its role in the global energy transition and aim to have EUR 100bn euros under management in green energy investments in 2030. CIP has approximately 300 employees and offices in Copenhagen, London, Hamburg, Utrecht, New York, Tokyo, Singapore, Seoul, and Melbourne. For more information, visit www.cip.dk

 

Contact: Oliver Routhe Skov, Vice President, Head of Media Relations and Project Communications, orsk@cisk.dk, +4530541227