Belgium appoints single operator for hydrogen network, as first in Europe

Belgium has as the first country in Europe appointed a single operator for its hydrogen network. The company Fluxys hydrogen, a subsidiary of Fluxys Belgium, will develop and manage operate a hydrogen transmission grid for the next 20 years.

The federal government already approved a hydrogen strategy this legislature. That text underlines the ambition to strengthen Belgium’s position as an import and transit hub of renewable hydrogen. Last year, parliament approved the law regulating the transport of hydrogen.

That law also provided for the appointment of a hydrogen network operator to develop a network of pipelines throughout Belgium. Following positive evaluations, the government is now appointing Fluxys hydrogen as the operator for a period of 20 years.

“After the very first hydrogen law, Belgium is once again taking the lead by being the first country to appoint a single hydrogen network operator,” stated energy minister Tinne Van der Straeten. “Fluxys has years of experience in managing gas infrastructure, but now Fluxys hydrogen has been given the task of planning, developing and managing the hydrogen grid, a task that is essential for the energy transition.”

The hydrogen network is needed to connect Belgium’s industrial clusters while providing interconnections with neighbouring countries. Preparatory works for the first phase have already begun, to have by 2026 a total of 150 kilometres of pipeline between the industrial clusters of Ghent, Antwerp and Liège, with connections to the Netherlands and Germany. To achieve this objective, Fluxys received a €95 million grant under the EU’s recovery plan.

Energy minister Tinne Van der Straeten pictured during a press event © BELGA PHOTO Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFP

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